"If he had followed the rules, we'd all be dead." ~ Sully
Initially, I was disappointed I missed Sully in theaters, but, honestly, I am glad I saved it for DVD. While I liked it and thought they did a great job with the story, it almost had a made for television feel. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood and based on the memoir by Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, gives an account of the true, near-fatal U.S. Airways flight emergency landing in the Hudson River. However, this is not the story of the incident itself per se, but rather it deals with the events that happened in the days immediately following the event.
On January 15, 2009, U.S. Airways Flight 1549 from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina lost both engines when the aircraft collided with a flock of geese only minutes after takeoff. With only minutes to survey the situation, Captain Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) decided their only option was to try and make a forced water landing in the frigid waters of the Hudson River. Miraculously, all 155 crew and passengers on board survived the landing and the rescue efforts that followed. Sully was deemed a hero in the eyes of the world.
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What the public did not know until sometime after this fateful day, is that Captain Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), underwent intense scrutiny and harsh criticism from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the investigation that followed. In what became a battle between computer evidence and raw human instinct, Sully and Skiles had to prove their actions were justified.
The film portrays the actual landing as well as the NTSB hearings. It also highlights the internal stress the two men understandably suffered as they dealt with the realization of the horrific events, and as they defended Sully's unprecedented actions.
"I've delivered a million passengers over 40 years in the air, but in the end, I'm going to be judged by 280 seconds." ~ Sully
The scenes of the landing and rescue were dramatic and very well done. Hanks delivered a convincing performance as the pilot who pulled off the impossible by placing all statistics and training aside and going with his gut. Overall, I would recommend this film to nearly anyone. It is definitely worth a watch.
Sully is rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language. The film also stars Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, and Mike O'Malley.