Sully is based on the true story of Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), the pilot of a plane that loses both its engines just moments after taking off. With no other options available, Sully is forced to land the plane down on the Hudson river, saving the lives of all 155 passengers on board, along with the help of his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). The forced water landing, however, is but a small component of this movie, as the real story is of the investigation that takes place after. Led by Charles Porter (Mike O'Malley), the investigation is a look into whether or not landing on the Hudson river saved the passengers, or if there was still an opportunity for Sully to make it to the airport, therefore endangering the lives of all the passengers by not doing so.
Taking on the mantle of Sully is the always brilliant Tom Hanks, who, as expected, gives a stellar performance. There are few actors out there that are as brilliant as Hanks is. He's an actor who, no matter how mediocre or bad the film is, always manages to knock it out of the park, and he does so once again with this movie. His recent performances have been beyond brilliant, and Sully just slots right in. It's not as emotional as Captain Phillips, nor as fun loving as Saving Mr. Banks, but for what this film is trying to achieve, he does a great job.
That's where this film starts to falter. Hanks and Linney share a great deal of phone conversations, and the whole time they're discussing when they can see each other, yet it never comes. It's just one of the many examples of when this film decides to recap the aspects of this story that would've made for a far more interesting movie. We're given the smaller, less important scenes, starting these sounds off with descriptions of what could've made for a more compelling story. Would an emotional, score-driven reunion of Hanks and Linney's characters have been a great way to end the film? Absolutely. Is the ending we get on the same level? Not at all. It's abrupt and forced and honestly did not feel like an ending in the slightest.
It's not the only display of clumsy editing either, as the film goes full biopic from time to time, and there just isn't any need for it. There are flashes of a young Sully learning aviation, as well as getting himself into a little bit of trouble when in the air. The scenes, while looking cool, didn't add anything to the film, and in fact, they bogged the story down. It helped to make this 96 minute movie feel well over two hours. Whenever a flashback came on, and this includes the Hudson river landing, it slows the story down drastically. Sure, I loved the Hudson river scene, but Clint Eastwood chooses to show it at the worst times. It feels almost like a 70 minute movie that was given an extra twenty five minutes during post production.
To sum up, Sully is led by terrific performances all throughout its cast, especially from Hanks, but unfortunately, it's a mixed bag of a movie. There's moments of greatness and the true story is extremely interesting, but the film is bogged down by disjointed editing, pointless flashbacks and extensive sequences of dull situations.