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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: Sully

***Watched during free HBO/Cinemax weekend. Received no compensation of any kind.***

Kind of a PITA to have to put this when I just want to talk about a movie I got to watch for free during a promotional weekend, but here we are. Sigh.

***WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.***

Anyway, for those of you who are unaware, Sully is a movie starring Tom Hanks which focuses on the Miracle on the Hudson--the US Air flight that hit birds which took out both engines and made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in NYC. In January. The movie covers the landing and some of the NTSB investigation surrounding the incident.

The movie doesn't follow a linear timeline which leaves it feeling rather disjointed. The time hops were done well, I thought because I was able to keep up with where we were very easily and my dad didn't ask me any questions about what was happening. He was watching it with me and doesn't hesitate to ask me to explain anything that he has the slightest question about. Believe me, he wasn't shy about asking other questions during the movie and I even had to search online to come up with the date of the incident. (January 2009)

That said, I became frustrated with all the hopping--and we go back and forth continually--because I'd be interested in what was going on and then boom! Back to the future. I do understand exactly why the writer(s) chose to do it this way. The landing on the river is the big event and everyone knows the outcome, so there's very little suspense done in a traditional way.

The other interesting choice was to make the NTSB lead investigator an accusatory jerk, out to prove Sullenberger and the copilot could have landed at an airport and not endangered the passengers. Of course, I have no way to know if this really happened or not, but I don't remember a lot in the press about how simulations proved they could have made an airport. My recollection of the event is that they proved within a day or two that the flight crew had no other options, but my memory could be off.

Overall, I liked the movie. I didn't love it. It's short, and even with the writer's attempt to create suspense, it was minimal. The writer also gave us like two minutes with the passengers before/as they're boarding the plane and then trying to wring some emotional drama from that, but we just didn't know enough about these people to care about them as individuals.

I'd recommend it if you can stream it for free, but can't recommend paying to see it. That said if you're interested in film writing and want to see how to clearly handle a non-standard timeline, this is a good example.