“Sully” | Compelling Despite Lack of Real Conflict

One important thing to note about the latest Tom Hanks starrer is that I don’t feel this is a disaster film.

And that’s okay because Hanks’ performance and the storytelling are enough to provide the much-needed suspense. I wouldn’t be surprised if people expect a lot of edge-of-your-seat thrills since this is based on the miraculous landing of US Airways 1549 on the Hudson River.

The problem is there’s not enough material for that. The entire flight only lasted about 6 minutes and there was simply not enough to stretch. Focusing too much on the emergency would be overkill and I can only imagine how the movie would turn out if it was the case.

With Clint Eastwood as the master storyteller, we can all rest assured that we’re in for something good. It was good.

sul-14 “Sully” isn’t the suspense drama you’d expect but it’s compelling. Of course, the emergency water landing was something to look forward to and was handled very well, but it was the way Capt. Chesley Sullenberger was portrayed that me glued to the screen.

This was a different acting compared to Castaway and Captain Phillips. Here, Hanks was more introspective. It’s like he was clenched or something the entire time, which was totally understandable given the circumstances surrounding his character.

Nevertheless, he was moving. He was convincing. He made us root for him.

The same can be said with the other actors. Aaron Eckhart as First Office Jeff Skiles was decent although there wasn’t much to his character. His transformation, however, is quite note-worthy. I didn’t recognize him for a second.

Same with Laura Linney who played Sully’s wife, Lorraine.

On the other hand, the National Transportation Safety Board was genuinely annoying, especially Mike O’ Malley.

Eastwood’s effective use of flashbacks allowed us to get a glimpse of who Sully is, aside from being the hero of that fateful Hudson River landing, without dragging the story. It gave us insight as to who he is when he’s not in the cockpit and allowed us to know the man who had enough experience and skills and, most importantly, the sincerity, needed to ensure the safety of all his passengers.

While “Sully” is definitely not a biopic, it’s shown us enough about Capt. Sullenberger to paint him as a real hero. For the most part of the movie, his credibility was questioned which led him to doubt his decision on that day at the Hudson River. But just like truth, true intentions, will always come out and Sully was proven right.

I like the movie a lot but there’s one thing missing: a real conflict. I’m missing the kind of conflict that’s big enough to propel the characters forward; to push them outside their boxes and do something that will move the story forward.

But it’s based on a true story, so there’s the answer.

I still like it a lot, regardless.



Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Todd Komarnicki

Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney

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