Sully | Review

Tom Hanks is a much loved and solid actor generally loved by all. His performances have garnered some of the biggest box office returns in world history. Clint Eastwood, besides being an exceptionally watchable actor and right wing Trump supporting loser is a phenomenally solid director. Combining the two of them to bring the world the recreation and historical (slightly dramatised) SULLY is a tour de force of cinema. Apologies for my delay in publishing this one – still on holidays/ vacation in the snow and loving it. SULLY is out now from the fine folks at Roadshow Films. It is rated M and runs for 95mins. Enjoy our Hank’s loving review from Kernel Blake. All the best from the snow………………JK.


On a chilly afternoon on January 15th 2009, New Yorkers thought their worst nightmare was about to happen all over again. With a stricken commercial aircraft careening perilously close to Manhattan, the NY populace must’ve thought 9/11 part 2 was upon them. In reality, US Airways flight 1549, travelling from La Guardia airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, was struck by a large flock of birds moments after take-off.

The impact completely destroyed both engines and sent the aircraft on a crash course with downtown Manhattan. What followed was the “Miracle on the Hudson” as the US Airways pilots incredibly managed to land the powerless aircraft on the icy waters of New York’s Hudson River, with all passengers and crew walking away, mostly, without a scratch.


Sully (Tom Hanks) and Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) image



We all know the story of SULLY, with blanket media coverage of the event and the heroic endeavours of the crew, specifically Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who become an instant hero and New York icon following his miraculous landing. What we don’t necessarily know is the impact this event had on Sully’s psychological state and the investigation into the crash from the National Transportation Safety Board & FAA. SULLY brings us that story.

SULLY begins with US Airways 1549 taking off from La Guardia Airport and immediately flying through a large flock of Canadian geese and crashing deep in the centre of Manhattan island. A strong opening scene for sure and one that makes you question the direction this film will take but it is revealed that this scene is a nightmare experienced by Captain Sullenberger in the aftermath of his heroic landing maneuver.

Sully (Tom Hanks, EVERY GOOD MOVIE EVER) is plagued by visions of what could’ve gone wrong had he and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart, LONDON HAS FALLEN) not saved the day with lightning quick reflexes and decision making that only 40+ years of flying could bring. As the media storm intensifies around New York’s latest heroes, both Sully and Skiles struggle to come to grips with the psychological and emotional impact this event has had on them.


When the FAA, NTSB and the airline’s insurance company begin their investigations, as well as being isolated from friends and family, Sully and Skiles are questioned as to whether they made the correct decision. Or if they should have turned back to the airport for a safer landing. Despite pointing out that all 155 passengers and crew made it out of the ordeal alive, questions are raised on their judgement when simulations are presented showing the plane could’ve made it back to the safety of the airport.

From here, SULLY intercuts the events of that fateful day, Sully’s life as a pilot both commercial and military, with the ongoing investigations of the crew and their battle to remain heroes in the face of intense scrutiny and seemingly solid evidence that the crisis could’ve been averted. As Sully says, his legacy of 40 years as a pilot will all come down to just 208 seconds.


Sully (Tom Hanks) image



Has there been a more reliable actor in Hollywood history as Tom Hanks? Seriously, I really struggle to think of a film that he has starred in that has been anything less than entertaining (ED’s note: CASTAWAY was atrocious – personal JK hate movie). Again, Hanks is front and centre as the veteran pilot SULLY and without his exceptional performance of a man struggling with instant fame and the simultaneous questioning of his character, the film would simply fall flat.

From his calculated moves in the cockpit that saves lives, to the emotional moments of solitude where it feels like his whole world is crumbling, Hanks is supreme yet again and I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks away with a little gold fella named Oscar once more.

Although SULLY is Hanks’ vehicle, there is a strong cast of supporting characters around him including Eckhart, as his co-pilot, who is sporting the finest moustache this side of Ned Flanders. Laura Linney plays Sully’s wife, Lorraine, stuck inside the family home with news crews surrounding the house and is only able to communicate with her husband via mobile phone, really bringing an emotional element to the story as she comes to terms with her husband’s situation.

Director Clint Eastwood keeps a subdued handle on things intercutting the tense scenes on board the stricken aircraft with quiet, often solemn character scenes. Special mention must go to the effects team responsible for the water landing sequences, they are brilliantly done and put you right in the cabin with the terrified passengers.


Sully (Tom Hanks) and Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) image



So far, so good for SULLY. There are a few slight niggles with the film though, namely the surprisingly brief running time of only 95 mins (including credits) and the fact that the film kind of just ends after a tense build up within the investigation room. Apart from those little niggles, this is a very enjoyable film, especially considering everyone knows the outcome.

Despite this, there are moments of genuine tension and suspense, along with a superb performance by Hanks in the lead role. It is somewhat refreshing to see a good news story, especially involving New York and airplanes, this is exactly what SULLY delivers. Hanks and Eastwood have created a compelling story with a nice touch added in to the final credits, so stay put for that.


4 Pops




Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life, like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. Can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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