By Brendan Villena
“Sully” is the movie all have come to expect greatest out of. An average, all-American worker goes against convention to pull off the miraculous, saving countless lives all while maintaining a modest, I’m-just-doing- my-job attitude. The only thing that would make this film more American than a slice of apple pie would be if it was covered with Tom Hanks whipped cream and a Clint Eastwood cherry on top.
Already lauded for his part in exceptional films like “Castaway,” “The Terminal,” and “Captain Phillips,” all of which show that he doesn’t have any luck traveling, Hanks once again nails the role given to him as Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger. He flawlessly portrays a man who encapsulates heroic American values, such as pride in a job well done, love for one’s duty, and courage in the face of danger.
Hanks masterfully executes his lines and creates a tense yet controlled atmosphere, putting his audiences at the edge of their seats. When Sully was questioned about how he pulled off the impossible, he responds with a compelling line that captures the real-life event perfectly: “No one warned us […] No one said you’re going to lose both engines at a lower altitude than any jet in history.” This line put me in Sully’s shoes and made me realize how miraculous this rescue was.
While Hanks rises to the occasion, Director Clint Eastwood takes this plane around the terminal in circles. Eastwood wisely chose Sully’s antagonists in the form of overzealous National Transportation Safety Board agents who dare question Sully’s experience and lightning-fast decision-making.
Aaron Eckhart did a fine job playing the supporting character Jeff Skiles, as he added a bit of flavor to the film as well as his name to the list of above average acting jobs in Hollywood. Sully tells Skiles, “I never get over how beautiful it is up here,” to which Skiles replies with “Life’s easier in the air” moments before the plane is struck by geese and performs an emergency landing.
Hanks and Eckhart’s convincing lines of dialogue combined with Eastwood’s brilliant cinematography are what made “Sully” stand out from the many other dramas and, unlike Flight 1549, land smoothly.