Thu 29 Dec 2016
It’s interesting to watch the evolution of the heroes that Clint Eastwood brought to screen in his acting and directing career. His first serious impact was with the spaghetti western style heroes of the 60s, followed by the sometimes rotten, sometimes idealistic cops in the action movies of the 70s. Later as he turned to directing and built a solid career as an accomplished director his heroes were polarized in super-achievers or rhetoric failures. Some of them continued to use their fists or guns. Other were inspiring leaders or great inspiring movers. They never were conventional. Which is the main problem with Sully. The hero of this film is so predictable. Even his dilemmas and the way they are solved are predictable.
You will tell me that this is a true story, we know the ending, it happens to be a happy one, this also happens in life. Maybe so. Reality however does not always provide the best promises for great art, and realism is just one of the possible styles in cinema (and not necessarily the one I prefer). Good movies were made based on true stories and biographies of real heroes. They succeeded however because they could find new dimensions to the stories and the characters, not because they followed the beaten tracks. Even in Sully the best parts are the ones that describe, almost as against the story the conflict between self confidence and doubts. Should we trust the heroes that become overnight media sensations. The instinctual answer is ‘no – be cautions’ but this is not the obvious answer here. The problem is that the envelope is so conventional, full of platitudes and melodrama, of small and insignificant side threads (the calls with the wife) that add nothing to the substance of a story that is quite thin already.
It is interesting as well to watch the evolution of the heroes that Tom Hanks acted on screen. If there is one thing that made his career exceptional it’s the fact that he never made the expected, his next role was an exception, a different character that built himself as a live and true character on screen, no matter if he was playing a Central Asia refugee or an American astronaut. This is not the case here. If there is one performance that director Eastwood succeeded in this film, it was making actor Hanks look bored and boring for the first time in his career.
‘Landing on the Hudson – The Movie’ (my personal title) is not the best film of either Clint Eastwood (as director) or Tom Hanks. It brings however some interesting questions about the careers of the two exceptional film personalities in the film industry and America of 2016.