Veteran pilot Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) is having a rough go of it. After experiencing a lightning strike midair, Brodie must perform a dangerous crash landing on an island if he hopes to save his passengers and crew.
Unfortunately, Brodie finds that this new terrain is even more dangerous than the skies. A group of heavily armed rebels captures his passengers. Brodie, being the good captain that he is, decides that his only option is to team up with Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), a passenger that was in FBI custody for committing murder.
Louis, as is often the case, has a checkered past with his own goals following the plane’s crash landing. But first, this unlikely duo must face setbacks and set pieces as attempt to recover the flight’s passengers.
The island setting is the key element that allows “Plane” to break away from similar action films that arrive directly on V.O.D. or streaming. French director Jean-Francois Richet commands a healthy budget, reportedly close to fifty million, but the unrelenting action feel superfluous as the audience never catches their breath from one shoot out to the next.
The film lands (no pun intended) around the one hour and forty-five minute mark, which is preferable for this type of action-driven R-rated fanfare. Both Butler and Colter know the genre that they’re playing in and they’re more than adequate in their respective roles.
The performances are largely limited by the script’s dialogue and incessant set pieces, although there are moments where Colter exceeds the material. Having mostly spent his tenure on the streaming small screen, it’s nice to see an actor of Colter’s talent on a theatrical release. Although it’s far from Bruce Willis’ level-up from “Moonlighting” to “Die Hard,” it’s nice to see Colter’s presence reaching new heights.
The film is arguably superior to Liam Neeson’s “Nonstop” in the world of plane based films, all of which bow to the glorious 1990s face-off of Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in “Air Force One.” The January release of “Plane” seems to be the where Butler’s career has settled. Hopefully, Colter’s film opportunities will not be as limited.
Letter Grade: C