I went into this pretty much being sure this was going to swing one of two ways. Plane was either going to be laughably bad or a by the numbers action romp with just enough entertainment value to satisfy. This is the latter. The suspense they conjure up works the majority of the time and the cast gives this their all. Several characters are too stereotypical for sure, but Gerard Butler‘s role is well written and easy to sympathize with and root for. The script itself does what it needs to do, nothing more and nothing less. If this kind of film is something you typically enjoy, then this should do the trick.
Honestly, the best card Plane has to play is Gerard Butler and his performance. Butler may not be an Academy Award winner, but he really makes you feel and pull for him in this role. Daniella Pineda also does a nice job. These two provide heart to this story. Heart and sympathy are necessary even in films of this nature. We need characters to root for that aren’t complete cardboard cutout victims.
But I’ll tell you who isn’t a victim here: Mike Colter! Colter plays a criminal being transported on the flight and ends up being a major force against the evil forces the passengers face. He does a good job, but I did wish there was more on the page for him work with. His character is particularly underwritten, and it would have been nice to get to know him some more. Butler and Colter could have been a much stronger team. With Colter’s subpar role, he feels like just another passenger who happens to be stronger than the rest, instead of a partner to Butler.
Just that one change would have been a big improvement and would have made for a more satisfying story to follow. Another flaw is the underdevelopment of the villains. The villainous characters are pretty one note, and it would have been nice to know more about them. It would have strengthened the plot and made the conflict even more engrossing. I will say that even though the villains are underwritten, they are extremely menacing and elicit the proper amount of hatred towards them.
The violence is medium level I’d say. There are some disturbing acts, but luckily most are off screen. I’m glad this didn’t go completely overboard with blood and guts. That would have somewhat diluted the entertainment value in an action romp like this. Another plus is the victorious feel of the finale. Given the atrocities these characters commit, it is pretty satisfying to see them get exactly what they deserve in the end.
This film is honestly better than it should be for a January Gerard Butler action film. Having said that, it did make me miss similar films that are of higher quality like Air Force One and Flightplan. You’ll be entertained enough to count this as not a waste of time but at the same time, there’s little reason to ever view this again.
Plane is a pretty run of the mill action film. It has its flaws, most of which have to do with the script. That said, if this is a genre of film you typically enjoy, then this should do.
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