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Sully Review

sully movie review

“Sully” Review – Jack Fitzpatrick

Sully… Sully Sully Sully. I’m just going to say it; Sully is boring. Sully is a boring film, based on an already boring real life story. Oh it’s safe to say I didn’t like this one… And I was even actually looking forward to this one too!

So hopefully by now, the word ‘Sully’ has either lost or meaning or at the very least is just starting to sound a little funny – if not perhaps a little annoying. But my first question – and yes I think it’s fitting to begin this review with a question – is; Is the man this film is based on, ‘Sully’ really so legendary that we should all know who he is by name alone? I’ve really been legitimately wondering. I mean yes, he did save people, yes it was lucky and his actions were arguably heroic, yes it’d be a big deal if you experienced what happened yourself… But at the end of the day what happened is just not very applicable to film. It’s just not exciting. And it’s just not big enough that I’d be expected to know who ‘Sully’ is via name alone and without context.

Anyway, let’s get on to the review shall we?

If you hadn’t figured it out by yourself yet, I wasn’t much of a fan of this film. I didn’t entirely hate it though; it was respectable enough… I guess. Tom Hanks did a fine job in serving his role as did most of the supporting cast, but serving their roles is about all they did. There’s no going above and beyond in this film and nobody is completely lost in their character. They play their parts. That’s really it. And that’s fine I suppose, I’m no actor myself – In fact, I’d probably be a terrible, terrible actor if I were to actually try it out – but considering that this is a film that relies on character drama, I’d argue that this just wasn’t enough.

sully movie review

The movie was also shot and directed well… I guess? Though, I somehow didn’t realize that this was a Clint Eastwood film until the credits began rolling at the end of the film. I sat there for just a moment kind of surprised. After fantastic directorial jobs in far superior films like Million Dollar Baby, American Sniper (Hey, I liked it!) and especially Gran Torino, I can’t help but just think to myself; ‘What are you doing man?’ If I’d known earlier that this was a film by him prior to seeing it, I probably would have expected more from this movie, and so I probably would have disliked it even more.

But mostly I just can’t get over how lacking this movie is in terms of anything interesting. What had me most disappointed was a lack of any actual controversy. The film sort of ‘half-assed’ an attempt at people in the film sort of ‘demonizing’ Sully, but in the end we as an audience are never really shown that side of things legitimately. For us, there is absolutely no doubt that Sully did the right thing. There is no question about his actions and so there is no reason for us to care about some guy, in some suit, in some court, accusing him of doing the wrong thing. It just feels like a waste of time. The writing ultimately felt unnatural and this really showed in its characters throughout. Especially when the characters opposing Sully begin to come off as unrealistic and just plain stupid. In a way, at times they just appear as empty vessels, delivering lines when it necessary but with no real emotion or humanity – They aren’t people, they’re just obstacles for Sully to overcome. (This is especially ironic particularly in a scene nearing the end of the film. I won’t spoil anything here though.) And even when Sully does defend himself, all that he really does is claim the obvious. But it still seems as though we as an audience are supposed to be fascinated and majorly impressed by his intelligence.

– You know what though, maybe that was how it all happened in real life. Maybe those guys were all idiots and maybe they didn’t act like humans in reality. If so, I can totally forgive the film for this. But that’d be kind of… Weird.

sully movie review

Pictured; All Idiots? 

Moving on!

Along with all this, is an absence of any form of stakes what-so-ever, Sully fails to possess any suspense or tension. This however is partly due to the fact that this is all based on an inherently uninteresting true story. I’m sure it was a memorable moment in the lives of those that experienced it, but explain the general plot out loud or I read the description of what happened in real life and it just doesn’t scream ‘We must make a movie about this!’ to me.

Excruciatingly empty, Sully is one of the least ‘cinematic’ films I’ve ever seen in my life. And apparently it was shot almost exclusively with IMAX cameras. And with this, the movie is just constantly begging the question; “Why?” Why this story? Why is the title simply ‘Sully?’ Why did they shoot it all with IMAX cameras? Why was this movie made? I’m just baffled. And what’s worse is that this film doesn’t seem to be getting beaten to a pulp by critics. Reviews I’ve read and watched have been at worst mediocre, but in the end mostly positive. I seem to be the odd one out here. Which is fine, it’s happened before and it’ll happen again, I’m not always going to agree with the crowd, however I just personally don’t really understand it when it comes to this specific movie. Is everybody pretending here? IS IT ALL A RUSE?

sully movie review

A ruse? Oh my god, It makes so much sense now!

Criminally the film constantly tries it’s damn hardest to ‘milk’ the drama out of everything even when it’s not really there. And at times it really came off as extremely melodramatic. I was supposed to care about characters when I didn’t, I was supposed to be concerned about certain things when I wasn’t and I was supposed to be enthralled throughout but never was. There just wasn’t enough substance to fill an interesting movie, and Eastwood’s shortest at that.

To make up for it though, we get to see the same (Kind of uneventful) plane crash scene an abundant amount of times, each without enough difference to keep it interesting as well as a bunch of Tom Hanks jogging – Gotta keep fit I guess. Due to such little substance, nothing much really ‘happened,’ and to pad out the gaps, the film constantly involves us in meaningless sub-plots that don’t really seem to ever go anywhere and scenes that would have surely been cut from a different film. This movie is simply just dramatically empty.

sully movie review

Pictured; Half The Movie

However, few, there were some redeeming features present throughout – meaning that it’s actually time for me to say something nice about the movie; The movie does make you question; What defines a “hero?” And this can bring up an interesting discussion on whether or not Sully was a hero, or just a guy who did a good thing. I for one, can see valid arguments on either side.

The film also portrays a bit of an interesting insight on the concept of ones ’15 Minutes of Fame,’ and how becoming suddenly famous overnight may affect somebody who isn’t used to much attention at all. As well as how the general public and the press treat somebody going through this. We see how false accusations and exaggerations can be built up and turn people against others, and admittedly it’s quite an interesting look on this idea – This however is never the central focus of the film where perhaps it should have been.

sully movie review

But these things minor redemption’s certainly don’t make up for the fact that Sully is just so bland that it’s honestly almost laughable at points. I’m not one that watches bad movies on purpose to have a good time or enjoys laughing at the expense of others, but I must admit that some of these scenes really did get to me. The film was at times comedic when it wasn’t supposed to be, not as dramatic as it wanted to be and definitely not as interesting as I wish it’d been. In an attempt to be fair though; the movie is competently made, but seriously lacks heart. But by far most notably, this movie is just plain dull. Sully had me constantly checking my phone for the time and had me uninterested throughout. These are not things that filmmakers strive for and these are definitely not things that I want from a movie. Yeah, this one just kind of sucked…

4/10

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Jack Fitzpatrick
I'm a 20-something-year-old guy who just loves to dabble in creativity. Film is an art form, one of which that I love to give my opinion on. I'm a writer, And I'm also in to drawing and general geeky things. Check out my articles!