Basically: A movie that feels like a lost script from 1997, with one of the most straightforward titles in cinematic history, about people stranded on an island and fighting jungle criminals.
I’m shocked, once again, to be writing about another January movie that is not complete garbage. And you might be thinking, “Yo fam, you’re lying. This is a Gerard Butler movie.” Yes, he does make expensive genre exploitation or modern grindhouse-like movies, yet Plane is actually generally good. I have to set some parameters on this: Plane is problematic in many ways with some classic tropes and stereotypes. But, damn, this movie is entertaining and a throwback to 25 years ago.
Gerard Butler plays Brodie Torrance, an airline pilot on a red-eye flight from Singapore to Tokyo on New Year’s Eve. When flying over a storm, the plane is forced to land on an island without radio contact. Once there, the crew has to find a way to signal for help but they soon learn this island is dangerous and run by a terrible gang. Brodie must find a way to safely get all his passengers home.
What’s funny is, with a title like Plane, only about fifteen minutes of the whole film takes place on the airplane. Most of the story is about the partnership between Butler’s Brodie, who is shown to have a ton of grappling acumen, and Mike Colter’s Louis Gaspare (pronounced Jasper), one of Brodie’s passengers who is an escaped criminal on the run for murder. With that said, ex-Luke Cage is not scary at all. They instantly become partners in this adventure in order to survive.
Louis is a former French Foreign Legion soldier while Brodie is an ex-military pilot so, in other words, these terrible criminals MESSED WITH THE WRONG DAMNED PLANE. The way these two just go through people is hilarious; it legitimately reminded me of playing video games in co-op. They take people out and then run their pockets for new weapons and items.
The film also cuts to the airline trying to find them—the owner is in crisis mode and someone is brought in to handle this issue. From here, somehow a group of mercenaries is sent to save our heroes and passengers.
Plane has action buddy dynamics, cartoonishly evil bad guys, and pure action, which had me rolling in the theater. It was a really good experience, even though I saw stuff in the narrative I didn’t like, like the subtle political things it picked at. But I was legit having too much fun to care. This is mindless and another good time at the movies in January 2023. Whodathunkit?
In the End: Plane is a knowingly silly action movie with a likable cast and an easy-to-follow narrative. It falls into some old stereotypes but is fun enough for you to ignore the problems and enjoy the ride.