Gerard Butler has carved out a successful career playing the heroic everyman. He continues this trend with Plane (one of the dullest titles in a while), an actioner with a B movie aesthetic that still manages to be a decent way to spend a rainy afternoon. Despite an occasionally dull script, Plane is full of enough action and thrills to keep things moving.
Trailblazer Airlines pilot Brodie Torrance (Butler), is scheduled to do a New Year’s Eve flight from Singapore to Honolulu via Tokyo. There are only fourteen passengers and three cabin crew members aboard. Among the passengers, is fugitive homicide suspect Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), who is handcuffed and accompanied by a policeman. The flight gets into trouble when it’s struck by lightning, causing an electrical failure.
With no other options, Brodie makes a hard landing. He sets the damaged plane down on Jolo, a remote island in the Philippines, one taken over by rebels that kidnap foreigners and hold them for ransom. Desperate to find help, Brodie decides to free Lucas (a big, strong guy), so they can search for a radio or phone. Meanwhile, rebel leaders find the plane and its crew and passengers. The rebels take them hostage, with plans to secure large ransoms from their families. Brodie and Lucas are their only chance of survival. At the same time, a crisis manager (Tony Goldwyn) arrives at Trailblazer headquarters, tasked with finding a way to send help.
Director Jean-François Richet stages some spectacular action scenes, with a particularly effective airplane crash sequence and confrontations between Brodie and the central baddie. The final scene is a crazy shootout. While I knew Brodie would outwit the rebels, how it unfolds is a bit of a surprise and adds another layer of tension to the proceedings.
Gerard Butler gives the kind of steel jawed performance he’s given in several films. These type of action films suit his personality. We never doubt Brodie’s commitment to his passengers. He is the perfect choice for the role. Mike Colter is good too. While his crimes are never justified, he does what’s necessary to survive.
Plane doesn’t offer anything new, but it effectively follows a well-worn formula, where a normal guy becomes a hero. The action is good enough to keep fans of the action genre interested.
Presented in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, Lionsgate’s 4K UHD transfer is solid across the board. Detail is plentiful, particularly scenes on Jolo. Color saturation and depth are excellent. Movement is solid throughout. Blacks are deep and inky. Colors are good, particularly blues and reds. HDR offers a nice glow to the proceedings. Skin tones are natural throughout. The image is free of artifacts.
The included Dolby Atmos track is very effective. It adds some oomph to the action scenes. Surrounds are in play throughout. The airplane crash is a sonic adventure, full and aggressive. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English, French and Spanish subtitles are available.
Plane comes with the Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. The following extras are included:
- This Is Your Captain (HD, 14:18) The cast and crew discusses the joy of working with Gerard Butler.
- Plane Clothes (HD, 6:51) A discussion about the costume design.
- Brace for Turbulence (HD, 19:14) A look at some of the action sequences, including the plane crash.
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:29)