HOLLYWOOD—You know how sometimes you watch a movie and you find yourself surprised by how entertained you are. That happened to me with the action-thriller “Plane” starring action aficionado Gerard Butler. Yes, Butler is known for his iconic roles in “300,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “London Has Fallen” and “Angel Has Fallen” to name a few.
I’ll be honest I haven’t seen a bad action-flick by Butler. It seems every film he has starred in gives me absolutely what I want in an action-flick and so much more. His latest entry, the title alone did almost turn me off, but sometimes you have to give a film a chance. This time around Butler, stars as pilot, Brodie Turner, who is piloting a plane that gets get caught in a storm. That storm forces the plane to make an emergency landing in a remote region near the Philippines.
Now at the start of the narrative, I thought Brodie was about to have to play hero to a group of passengers as a result of fugitive and murder suspect Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter). As a spectator you get that ominous feeling that Louis is going to do something to hijack the plane and cause havoc. Guess what you would be disappointed with that assumption. The plane takes a nosedive, some people die, but that is only the beginning of the story.
In the middle of nowhere, with no radio and no way to communicate for help, Brodie, his co-pilot Samuel (Yoson Ana) and head flight attendant, Bonnie (Daniella Pineda) lead the task to keep the passengers calm, collected and reassured that they will be safe. Well, that is easier said done, until rebels unexpectedly show up, start firing gunfire and dispatching of some passengers in horrific fashion. Our protagonists soon become hostages, as Brodie, who managed to look for help, and the assistance he least expected comes from Louis, who proves never judge a book by its cover.
The duo go on a mission to alert higher powers, wasted talent by actor Tony Goldwyn, as crisis manager Scarsdale. I could not understand his purpose in the movie beyond sending mercenaries into the lay of the land to rescue Brodie, Samuel, Bonnie and the others. To be honest, every time this crisis group appeared on the screen, I immediately want the narrative to shift back to the JoJo Islands where all the action and story was actually taking place.
If I have a knock on the narrative, it’s the pacing. It feels slightly off and speeds up radically when we reach the second act, and by the time we get to the third act the movie is just about over and I wanted just a tad bit more because I found myself so entertained with what I was watching. So if I’m being picky, just a bit more action would have taken a movie that was good to something stellar. Our villain, Datu Junmar (Evan Dane Taylor) appears threatening, but he’s not as scary as you want a villain to actually be.
“Plane” is a solid B movie, not just great to watch at the multiplex, but an entertaining flick for a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It is sometimes the films you least expect that entertain the most and this movie gets three out of four stars for doing that.