Filled with dull action, generic characters and uninspired cinematography, “Plane” checks all of the boxes needed for an action flick, but becomes a boring mess lacking creativity in the process.

Following a late-night flight to Tokyo, Capt. Brodie Torrance, played by Gerard Butler, must find a way to safely land his ill-fated plane after being caught in a deadly thunderstorm.

Once landing the plane on an unknown island, Brodie, co-pilot Dele (Yoson An), flight attendant Bonnie (Daniella Pineda) and convicted murderer Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), must find a way back to civilization, unaware of the dangerous islanders stalking their every move.

While “Plane” isn’t a horrendous movie, it’s far from greatness, falling into mediocre territory.

Featuring an exciting premise supported by a committed cast, it's rather shocking to see how the film turned out. 

“Plane” is the type of film that clearly should have taken a page from “John Wick,” a white-knuckled action flick from beginning to end.

The first and third act adopt this personality well enough, offering anxiety-inducing scenes such as Brodie trying to land the falling plane or mercenary sniper Hajan, played by Claro de los Reyes, taking out the competition from a moving aircraft.

Instead, it seems as if Director Jean-François Richet was inspired by Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” because the talking never ends.

The second act is packed with mundane scenes of escape plans and hostility between the passengers, just like every other survival film of this nature, such as “2012” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” 

Character archetypes such as the mysterious loner Louis Gaspare and rich scumbag Sinclair, played by Joey Slotnick, are all here, delivering the exact plot points you would expect.

Anytime the second act decides to try and add action, it's filmed from a blurry, handheld point of view, as if it were shot by a child in their backyard.

On top of the already hazy cinematography, the editing adds unnecessarily choppy cuts, creating an almost sickening experience.

Whether it be practical or CGI, one can usually look forward to an action movie at least providing r-rated mayhem, but not “Plane.”

Even with its R-rating, the film holds back when it comes to violence.

Besides shootouts, nearly every act of violence was quickly cut out in the editing room, showing little to no blood, aside from the exceptional sniper scene mentioned earlier.

If you don’t plan to scratch the itch most viewers have going into action films, then why have the R-rating?

The only aspect of “Plane” that keeps the film from being a total misfire is Butler.

Even at 53-years-old, the Scottish actor continues to be one of the most likable action stars on the planet.

Butler finds a way to combine his action persona from “300” with his boyish charm from “P.S. I Love You,” creating a valiant, affable lead protagonist in Brodie Torrance.

Without the heart of Butler’s character, “Plane” would be completely stale.

 

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