Review: Plane

Plane (2023)

Director: Jean-Francois Richet

Starring: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, and Tony Goldwyn

Review: Let’s take bets. In six months, will I remember that I saw this movie? Because I honestly don’t think I will. There is absolutely nothing about this that makes it stick out in any way. Heck, even the title is kind of… plain. Get it? Like Plane? But seriously, this is about as run-of-the-mill as you can get.

First things first, there is nothing in Plane that you haven’t seen a million times before. The plot goes pretty much exactly where you think it will. The plane loads up. A convict who everyone judges is among the passengers. The plane goes into a storm. They crash land. The passengers are taken hostage. The captain and the convict save everyone. The end. It’s Die Hard. It’s Con Air. It’s London Has Fallen. It’s every action movie you’ve ever seen combined into one uninspired flick. Now, am I saying it’s unwatchable? No. Honestly, the time kind of went relatively fast. I didn’t enjoy myself but I didn’t actively hate watching it either. The action is decent. The plot, while familiar, is entertaining enough. And the runtime is just about where it should be. It’s perfectly serviceable and, if that’s all you’re looking for, you’ll have a decent experience with Plane. This is a Sunday afternoon cable network movie. In one ear and out the other. A perfectly decent way to spend two hours.

But, that also comes with a tad bit of disappointment. Because this movie really lacks any sort of depth. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie. Everything and everyone is one-dimensional here. I was really invested in the opening act. As they were loading the plane, I was making sure to catch little character moments and interactions. Hoping we’d get to know these characters really well by the end. Spoiler: we don’t. They’re all just helpless, personality-less hostages. There aren’t many of them. It would’ve been easy for a writer to spend a couple minutes developing each one and their feelings towards being caught in such a harrowing moment. But no. You get to know them as well as you would any random passenger on your next flight. Just their face, a mention of their name, and maybe some surface-level traits. That’s it. But, what’s even worse is that it’s the same for the leads. They are also stiff, undeveloped characters. Even Mike Cotler’s convict character doesn’t get a whole lot of backstory. We know that he was military and then killed someone 15 years ago. Why? Who? How does he feel about it? Is he guilty? None of that comes up. I mean… how do you have such a good setup for character development and then squander it? It’s crazy.

But, like I said, despite its flaws Plane is surprisingly watchable. I was surprised at how decent of an experience I had. I never once got bored or annoyed. It was just… a movie. And I just… watched it. And it kinda sorta kept me entertained. It’s no masterpiece. Heck, I wouldn’t even say it was good. But I don’t really feel like shitting on it either. It just is what it is. And this review is probably all the impression it’s going to leave on me. So… is it a recommendation? No. But its not really an anti-recommendation either. Just a slight shrug.

TL;DR: Plane is an uninspired, one-dimensional action film that is almost guaranteed not to leave a lasting impression, but it is surprisingly decent.

Score: 6/10 (Ok)

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