2023. R. 107 mins. Directed by Jean-Francois Richet
Gerard Butler has become one of the bigger action stars over the last 15+ years. From 300 to his Olympus Has Fallen series he's made a name for himself taking on the tough guy roles. While not all his movies are exactly quality hits Butler has managed to keep his roles consistent and he continues to keep getting them just about once a year now. Plane is the latest in his filmography and is arguably one of the best action movies in his career.
Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) is an airline pilot who is piloting a commercial aircraft during a terrible storm. The aircraft only has a handful of passengers on board but Brodie it determined to do whatever he can to make it through the storm. When the plane loses all of it's power Brodie manages to land the plane on an unknown island with minor casualties. Once on the island the passengers find themselves in the middle of a war zone lead by a group of local rebels. The rebels end up taking the passengers hostage leaving Brodie with only one person that can help him in Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murdered who was being transported by the FBI.
Director Jean-Francois Richet does a good job right off the bat establishing the situation, getting right into the action then pairing up the two main characters and letting them carry the rest of the movie. The plane struggling in the sky then eventually having to land is an extremely tense sequence as it leaves you guessing if everyone on board will make it out alive. Once the characters make it to the island the action is turned up to another level. While the movie could have used a little more action throughout it provides some great sequences that should leave action fans happy.
The movie is a tight 107 minutes and it is briskly paced. There isn't a lot of characters standing around talking about nothing for no reason. Everything moves quickly but not so fast that it takes anything away from the story. Gerard Butler is great here as Captain Brodie Torrance. He's had an up and down career for the most part and this is certainly one of his brighter highlights. This is a somewhat more reserved role for Butler but it still gives him plenty of moments to shine and show off his great action skills. Mike Colter works as a perfect counterpart to Butler's character. It would have been great to have a little more between their characters the pair do work very well together and ends up being one of the biggest highlights of the movie.
Outside of the Butler and Colter the rest of the cast is fine, however none of them are really given much to do. There isn't much development given to any of the passengers outside of a few cliche stereotypes but throughout the movie it is hard to not care about what happens to them. The villains are pretty weak as well with even less development being given to them. They do come off as menacing and the actors themselves do well with what they are given but the movie could have benefitted from giving those characters more of a motive and something to latch onto.
Plane is a tense movie with some great action sequences, a simple but interesting storyline and good performances from Gerard Butler and Mike Colter. Despite some lackluster villains and side characters the movie doesn't overstay its welcome and manages to provide some solid entertainment.