Soon after “the Miracle on the Hudson” you knew they’d make a film about it. The problem was that the actual action wasn’t long enough for an aeroplane disaster movie. They take off, birds, strike, and within minutes they’re landing on the Hudson. It’s impressive but it’s not a ninety minute movie. Eastwood’s movie overcomes this central dilemma by making the aftermath the central focus. Sully, played in straightforward Hanks mode, is accused of making the wrong decision. The insurance company have simulations to prove it. From here it’s a courtroom drama with plane disaster flashbacks. The film makes itself.
It is, of course, well done – Hanks and Eastwood are a guarantee of a certain level of quality, and throw in the real human drama and this will have been one of the punts movie execs can predict to the dollar what it will return. So, in terms of a Sunday afternoon movie that diverts, I’ve no complaints. It is the attempt to make it something more that rather grates. There is a Schindler’s List style epilogue where we see the survivors and real Sully. There is also a schmaltzy “New York came together” type monologue. That stuff just sounds hollow now, in the Trump days, a naive message of unity that collapses on its first inspection. Feel good is going to have to work a lot harder now.