Movie Reivew: Sully

Summary

Sully is the retelling of one captain’s quest to navigate the dramatic aftermath which followed his high-profile water landing of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15th, 2009.

After suffering dual-engine failure from a bird strike, Sully saved the lives of 155 passengers using all his experience and skill as a pilot. But that wasn't the end of the story.

If you like aviation, sitting through meetings, and happy endings — then you will love Sully.

Spoilers: Warning! Everything that follows will spoil the movie. Proceed at your own risk.

Teardown

The Teardown section is where I point out the parts of the movie I didn’t appreciate. Which in this case is pretty much the entire movie. And it's weakened by the fact that most people are familiar with the Miracle on the Hudson.

The untold story of Sully navigating the aftermath of his successful water landing is essintially drama-free. And by “navigate the aftermath” I mean watching Sully do nothing as the NTSB investigates. Investigates off-camera, by the way. Sure, there’s a thin veneer of conflict in the NTSB plot. But it’s pointless because you already know from the start that everyone survives.

In the wake of everyone surviving, the NTSB investigation is of little consequence. Yet this is the entire storyline.

And that is the crucial weakness of this film.

That's not to say Clint Eastwood didn't try. The man knows how to make a movie. Please go watch Gran Torino for evidence of this. In Sully, we’re shown cutscenes which establish our main character suffering from PTSD, but it’s merely window-dressing. It has a minimal impact on the story.

Another fatal flaw is the excruciatingly boring lead character. He's a real-life American hero, I get it. But when you're crafting a movie around a guy with minimal personality, it's gonna be tough to watch.

I found myself daydreaming ideas to make the movie more exciting. But alas, fiction has no place here.

Buildup

The Buildup section is where I discuss what I liked about the movie.

If you didn't know the story then maybe you would find it compelling. Just kidding, since nothing happens you still won’t.

Allow me to list the positives:

  • Thrill to the score as Sully talks on the phone with his wife — played by Laura Linney! She was excellent as John Adams' wife in that HBO series.
  • I liked Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. He had this one speech…something about his wife gardening.
  • Anna Gunn was in this movie. I liked Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad.

Watching any of these would be a better use of time than watching Sully. Also watching nothing would be a better use of time.

Conclusion

The worst part of this review is that I ended up seeing this in IMAX, sorta by accident. Biggest waste of IMAX I have ever witnessed.

While it's too late for me, it's not too late for you to avoid Sully.