Film Review: ‘Plane’ (2023)

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Stars: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Distributor: Lionsgate

“Is he dangerous? What did he do?”

Gerard Butler goes wheels up in a knees up style of action film, a throwback reminiscent of yesteryear’s classics, this film is…Plane.

In his latest action extravaganza, and potentially new franchise-starter, Gerard Butler stars as airline pilot Brodie Torrence whose job transcends from disaster to all-out action, much to the parallel of Plane itself. From what begins as a troublesome flight through stormy weather, all hell breaks loose once the aircraft is struck by lightning, resulting in Captain Brodie forced to land…literally anywhere that isn’t the sea. On board, however, is an extradited criminal. Landing in outlawed, unsanctioned territory, Brodie has to strike a medium between protecting his passengers’ safety, maintaining a weariness of the unknown, and potentially dealing with a fugitive.

A film of two halves, Plane’s disaster film setup lays the foundation for the chaotic action during the latter half of the film. In-flight trauma always sells for a magnificent thrill in film, and Plane adds to that scenario. Knowing that sh*t will hit the fan, an intrigue and curiosity is established in needing to know what will go wrong on the flight. Additionally, in knowing that more adventures await on the ground, the utter and complete chaos in the sky exists as a starter meal for what is going to be an exciting main. Except in the instance of Plane, the starter could very well pass as the main.

Plane’s subsequent existence as an out-and-out action film is fun, but having just experienced a somewhat terrifying airplane disaster, a comedown as such is an unwanted feeling when processing the next steps in the thrill. There are plenty of WILD instances which do occur, but the overall action half of the film just doesn’t match the quality of the disaster film presented. Though with that being said, Plane does manage to present itself as an action film with a lot of darkness. A tonal inconsistency aids the rollercoaster shock value between the darker elements and the full-on popcorn spectacle.

With Butler’s Brodie having a background in service, there is then the expectancy of the Brodie character being a legit warrior, but that never really seems to be the case. Butler never really as such proceeds to display himself as an, “Well, actually, I’m an action bad-ass,” type, but instead, just a career-changed individual, with a past, looking to do the right thing. Mike Colter’s Louis Gaspare, however, completely dominates the screen as the true action spectacle. Despite being introduced as a criminal, Louis’ persona never really justifies the tag, and later the reasoning is presented.

Ultimately, Plane is a tremendously fun action throwback – the kind of action film you watched with your dad on VHS. A great mixture of disaster and action, this is yet another piece of evidence which confirms that Gerard Butler is the current King of the Mid Level Action Film.

Plane can now be watched in UK cinemas.

4 Stars


For John.

This article’s featured image: By Source, Lionsgate, Fair Use

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