You can’t go wrong with a Tom Hanks movie! Nor can you miss with a Clint Eastwood production! Put the two together and the results are predictably amazing! Sully is the first time Eastwood and Hanks have worked together — hopefully it won’t be the last.
Most people must be aware of the story of US Airways Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who landed his jet on the Hudson river when both his engines died after a run-in with a flock of Canada geese. All 255 persons on board were rescued — no souls were lost! The media declared it nothing short of miraculous, and the pilot (Hanks) and co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), heroes. The airline and the insurance company, however, were looking for scapegoats. Based on the autobiography by Sullenberger, Highest Duty, this movie tells the story of the incident and the aftermath, it’s toll on both pilot (suffering from PTSD), co-pilot, and their families.
The filming in this movie is excellent, as is the acting and despite knowing how the enquiry turns out, the presentation is full of tension as Sully tries to save his career and reputation. He and Skiles replay the events over and over. They know the drill and answer the questions from members of the board of enquiry calmly and certainly, knowing what they did was exactly what was required. Information is kept from them and simulations seemingly prove their actions wrong. It’s very tense.
The filming of the plane landing on the Hudson, the people jumping onto the slide to the rafts and climbing onto the wings of the aircraft, the ferry boats coming to the rescue, was all superbly done. The genius of Eastwood is evident all the way through but nowhere as much as while the credits are rolling. The real Sully, Skiles, and survivors of the water landing, all gathered together in a hanger at Carolinas Aviation Museum in front of the actual plane which had amazingly sustained only minor damages to celebrate their survival. Sully makes a speech but mostly it’s just party noise as the credits roll. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you should make a point of it — you won’t regret it! * * * * *