57°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Movie Review: “Sully” A Win Amongst Suspense-Craving Movie Goers

Sully+depicts+US+Airways+Flight+1549+piloted+by%26%23160%3BCaptain+Chelsey+Sullenberger%2C+which+had+to+have+an+emergency+landing+in+the+Hudson+River+in+January+2009.

Sully depicts US Airways Flight 1549 piloted by Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, which had to have an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January 2009.

“No good deed goes unpunished.”
– Edward A. Murphy, Jr.
As nauseatingly cliché as this familiar mantra from the annals of Murphy’s Law sounds, it is regrettably still true. Most of us have probably experienced the ecstatic joy of doing something remarkably beneficial to others or for others, only to have those ever-present professed human forces of darkness vex your satisfaction. They simply will not let you be the hero or heroine you are. Not even for 15 minutes.
Solidly based upon the best selling book “Highest Duty,” “Sully” reveals the abject vexation of Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, who after saving the lives 155 people aboard U.S Airways Flight 1549 by making a bold decision to set his plane down in the Hudson River, became the liable object at fault through the blame game played by the National Transportation Safety Board. The in-depth investigation into the event nearly cost him his career as a pilot.
Director Clint Eastwood eschews a standard linear narrative, shifting from horrible nightmares to appropriate flashbacks and present events leading up to the eventual hearing Sully must endure to clear his name. It’s nearly like a puzzle, yet fortunately not difficult to put together. Intermittently in the film, Eastwood gives a complete picture of our protagonist as a skillful military pilot and how he came to be one. Thankfully Eastwood, scripter Todd Kormanicki, and Clint’s steadfast cinematographer Tom Stern don’t waste too much time delivering the heart of the movie either, the “Miracle on the Hudson.” They harbor every seemingly interminable suspenseful tick from the take off at LaGuardia to the skillfully executed water landing after both engines fail.
Tom Hanks, probably the most talented Everyman actor ever, invests most of his considerable heart and soul into the beleaguered Sullenberger. Thanks to a superb make-up job lead by department head Luisa Abel, Hanks becomes the spitting image of the real-life Sully, enabling one to witness the myriad of emotions and occasional flashbacks of his life. It is so apparent that he accomplishes something no other airline pilot has done before; you cannot help but to proclaim him a hero as well. His wife Lorraine, played by the gifted Laura Linney, is only allowed to display a worrisome persona and not much else other than the deep love she has for her husband. And dealing with a naturally invasive media pressed around her home doesn’t make things any easier.
“The Dark Knight” alum Aaron Eckhart gets to sport a thick moustache as Sully’s faithful friend and co-pilot Jeff Skiles. There is no reasonable doubt in his mind, since he was right there in the flight deck, that Sully did the right thing despite some NTSB findings. Eckhart turns in a solid performance, though if you ask me, he should just unleash chaos and sociopathic justice upon Gotham City until he retires, because he is great at it.
There is a considerable aura of old fashioned, underlying, and particularly enjoyable suspense as the clock ticks down to the final hearing. “Sully” always comes across as highly tense and dramatic. Hanks maintained centerpiece position, dominating every scene he was in.
Supporting antagonists, notably Anna Gunn from the acclaimed female-centered Wall Street film “Equity,” are as foreboding as they should be, grilling Sully with “viable” alternatives that he could have attempted in lieu of setting the aircraft in the water. Two fellow inquisitors, Ben Edwards (Jamie Sheridan) and Charles Porter (Mike O’Malley), are especially determined to find error in Sully’s judgment.
With all of the personal and professional intrigue, this amazing true story boils down to man versus machine. Captain Sullenberger summoned every ounce and scrap of flight experience, with a spoonful of competence, to safely land Flight 1549, without the luxury of time to consult with a computer to advise him. In the end, his God-given human instincts saved everyone aboard that plane. And no machine is anywhere near that level of capability, not even a little bit.