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"Sully" Review

No, Sully it's a movie about the big blue guy from Monsters, Inc. It's a surprisingly bland and unengaging biopic by Clint Eastwood about Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, pilot of the "Miracle on the Hudson" flight in January 2009 in which he landed his plane with 155 souls on board on the frigid Hudson River (between Manhattan and New Jersey) with no loss of life after a herd of birds knocked out both engines of his Airbus.

Focusing on the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigation which is portrayed as a witchhunt seeking to blame Sully for ditching the plane when computer and pilot simulations indicate he couldve made it back to LaGuardia or landed at Teterboro in NJ, Sully jerks around from focusing on his nightmares, sometimes waking, about how it could've crashed in the city, to calling his wife, to coping with strangers going "You're that guy!, to a couple of random flashbacks of his piloting as a youth and in the military, to a recreation of the incident itself (which has some sporadically sub-par CGI VFX). 

Events seem randomly tossed out and there is no real narrative coherence as if Eastwood and writer Todd Komarnicki really didn't have a central thesis to hang everything else off of. The series of reveals and turnabouts at the culminating public NTSB hearing are clearly intended to rouse the audience to cheer for our hero against the mean government inquisitors, but it beggars belief that it would've gone down this way. It rings phony.

Tom Hanks is good with the limited material he's been provided, conveying the rock solid stoicism that allowed him to pull off such a piloting feat - sure, it's not as spectacular as the crash sequence from Flight, but that was total make-believe - and subsequent self-doubt as to whether perhaps he had screwed up because those government fellers sure seem pretty certain he did. Aaron Eckhart doesn't have much to do as Sully's co-pilot, but he rocks a bitchin' porn 'stache that makes him look like a baseball pitcher.

While competently made, Sully misses the points I suspect it was trying to make about how heroes are treated in a cynical world or something; it's all too scattershot and lackluster to stick, never gripping, just floating along like a plane on a river.

Score: 4/10. Skip it.


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