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'Sully' Review

By Jon Painter
On September 18, 2016

Photo By: Ashley Alonzo

Director Clint Eastwood’s style emerges even before one takes a seat in front of the big screen in his latest release “Sully.” A distressed jet airliner flies above the rugged masses of a forever scarred New York skyline, making the reference to 9/11 as present as ever. Tom Hanks in his stoic magnificence pilots the story of an airline disaster turned to redemption and relief. The timing could not be better, as the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001, comes during the weekend of the film's release.

In the same manner that Clint Eastwood directed Chris Kyle’s story in the Best Picture nominee “American Sniper,” he once again takes up the cross of the distanced protagonist. Déjà vu, as the stately hero has been drawn from his family. Hanks and Aaron Eckhart unassumingly weather the ebb and flow of the heroes’ cape that has been cast upon them. With that cape being worn, “Sully” meanders for a time, letting the question fester. Where is Captain Sullenberger’s moment? 

It is almost nigh, and “Sully” turns us to the eviscerating glare of Pontius Pilate. A crown of thorns prepares as the film follows a silently vengeful  Eastwood in his quest to shed light on a purported crucifixion. Doubting a righteous savoir of the innocent? There it is the always present Eastwood hook: The hero, too, is filled with a torn conscience.

The fervor increases, now “Sully” brilliantly reaches its predestined apex of certain doom. Sept. 11 and New York City somberly cross as it reads in between the lines. Eastwood distinctly portrays NYC at its finest, as redemption is met less than 10 years after the towers fell. Captain Sullenberger and his first officer find themselves on the verge of crucifixion before Pontius Pilate. The National Transportation Safety Board rebuffs the board’s questions with words as impactful as Harry Callahan’s. An aged Eastwood is easy to denounce as bloodthirsty storyteller out for justice but before doing so, one must harken back to reality of New York City’s landscape, where there is not a lot of room to land a jet.

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