It’s just plane crazy fun.
The last two Gerard Butler movies I’ve seen were “Greenland” and “Copshop,” which both knew how to have fun with their leading Scottish man. Now, we have “Plane,” which wants to have echos from “Flight of the Phoenix,” “Argo,” “No Escape,” and “Olympus Has Fallen,” and have its generic story set in the Philippines. Can this movie be fun or standard? Apparently, it can be both-the kind of film that can’t beat “Avatar: The Way of Water’s” box office records, but can work as a backup plan if your showtime sells out, which would be unlikely since it’s been weeks since it’s opening weekend.
Or it can work as a made-for-TV movie, like when “Greenland” transitioned from theatrical to digital. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you can find some entertainment values from here to there and there to here. Just wanted to go Dr. Seuss on you.
Here’s what I’m imagining from the people who wrote this movie-American writer J.P. Davis and British spy fiction writer Charles Cumming.
“Let’s have Butler as pilot Brodie Torrance, and have him team up with Mike Colter as a criminal extradited on homicide charges. Let’s prove that maybe he’s not the evil man the authorities claim he is. These two guys are the leading men.
Next, let’s have them flying out of Singapore with a small group of passengers, and let a thunder storm force them to make an emergency landing on an island in the Philippines.
Then, let’s have them looking for anything to make contact with the rescue team. And have the remaining passengers and crew get kidnapped by evil militias. You know. The ones who appose their government and are willing to capture any hostages, or foreigners as they like to call them.
And finally, let’s get Butler and Colter into some action. Campy, R-rated action, that is. Can we get this old bird back in the air? And do these men have more assistance in their battles against the villains? Let’s see where this goes.”
That’s probably the writers talking, not me.
Here’s me talking. This story is far from original, but it’s not a bad movie. It’s a good movie with two leads you would like to get to know more of. Or maybe you’ve seen these kinds of character before, so why bother? But they are, at least, played with likability by Butler and Colter.
Parts of the movie are funny, especially the ways Tony Goldwyn (as a former special forces operative) criticizes the man who gave Brodie Torrance the clear check to fly over the storm by calling him a “meteorologist,” and later saying: “Hey, Weather Man, time to redeem yourself.” Other parts are consistent as Torrance tries to call for help and makes contact with his daughter (Haleigh Hekking) in Hawaii, until a bad guy bugs him on the phone.
I may complain that teleportation devices have yet to be invented, which is why I have to deal with traffic jams and layovers, but I still think “Plane” is a fun ride. Don’t go for the story; just go for the action, campy dialogue, and two leads. I know I did.