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

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a voting member of the Television Academy, Critics Choice Association, and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (the SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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