Sunday, 11 December 2016

Review: Sully 'Miracle on the Hudson'

'Sully' brings alive the events of January 15 2009, when US Airways Flight 1549 "crashed" into the Hudson River in New York, shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport.

When I say crashed, of course I mean landed on! Something unprecedented in nature, as Sully is quoted as saying in the film "everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time".

Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles were in the cockpit, when a bird strike resulted in the loss of power to both of the planes engines shortly after take off, Captain Sullenberger then made the incredible decision to attempt a water landing on the Hudson.

Thanks to his swift thinking and realisation that the plane would not be able to reach an airport, all 155 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A320 survived.

I can always remember when the news broke in 2009, and this photograph taken by Janis Krums on his iPhone started appearing on social media within minutes of the plane's incredible landing...

'Sully' really is a fantastic achievement, starting with Tom Hanks, who gets into his character so much, you forget it's Hanks on screen, you truly believe it is Captain Sullenberger doing his own cameo.

The film focusses on the investigation which proceeded the incident, and the incredible media attention Sullenberger and others involved received, in the United States, but also around the World.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Go Team looked into the incident on the Hudson, with many on it claiming that Sullenberger could have made it back to LaGuardia or another airport, rather than landing on the Hudson.

The Captain himself was heavily involved as a consultant on the film, and that is made clear, with the level of insight into his own thought processes and feelings following the incident. 

The film also aims to make clear the contribution of other crew members and first responders, in ensuring no loss of life and evacuation of the aircraft, which took just 24 minutes to complete.

The film relies on a lot of archive footage and recordings, and at certain points feels like more of a documentary.

What I really liked about 'Sully' was the fact that nothing needed be dramatised, the incident speaks for itself.

It came out in the States in September, but only got its UK release this past week.

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