Alpha male Gerard Butler is back in cinemas to deliver some more ass-kicking in his latest action romp Plane from Lionsgate. French filmmaker Jean-François Richet directs the film from a screenplay by Charles Cumming and J.P. Davis.
What begins as a routine day for pilot Brodie Torrance (Butler) turns into a white-knuckle fight for survival. After he saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island, Brodie assumes he's out of the woods. Infuriately the plane crash-landed on Jolo Island, an island off the Philippines that is the headquarters for the militant Abu Sayyaf organization.
Naturally, most of the passengers are taken hostage by the dangerous rebels who inhabit the island. Now the only person Torrance can count on for help is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murderer who the FBI was transporting. In order to rescue the passengers, Torrance will need Gaspare's help while learning there's more to Gaspare than meets the eye.
I've seen my share of action flicks as a child of the eighties and nineties. Plane gives off the vibe that the script was written as a vehicle for Chuck Norris in the eighties or Stallone in the nineties and later redeveloped.
Your enjoyment of the film will depend on how much you can suspend disbelief. Two movies are at work, but the narrative structure needs to mesh together. Butler and Cotler do what they can with the material, and the film would delve more into odd couple shenanigans for the duo. Sadly the film never does, which ends up affecting the final product.
Outside of Tony Goldwyn in the role of Scarsdale, who leads a rescue team, the supporting cast is nonexistent, and no one has an arch. Even the villain is paper thin. Nevertheless, there are still decent moments in the film. As part of the rescue mission, Louis uses a sledgehammer to knock, and sniper rifles take out the baddies in gruesome headshots.
There is no doubt that Plane had the potential to be better. There may have been a desire between director Jean-François Richet and producer/star Gerard Butler to make something more than a cheap action film that viewers could easily find on their favorite streaming service.
Although Butler's star quality makes the film worth a one-time glance, the half-hearted combination of disaster flick and action thriller could have used more thrills.
Final Grade : C+
Plane is in theaters now