Plane (2023) Movie Review: Gerard Butler Takes to the Skies

Movie Bunker Score:

Plane: A Review of the Action Movie That Doesn’t Quite Reach New Heights


Plane, directed by Jean-François Richet, follows the story of Brodie Torrance (played by Gerard Butler), the pilot of a commercial airliner called Trailblazer 119. When forced to make an emergency landing in the Jolo islands, an area controlled by anti-government militias, Torrance has no choice but to accept help from a convicted murderer named Louis Gaspare (played by Mike Colter). As the passengers’ lives hang in the balance, the movie takes us through a series of intense action sequences filled with guns, blood, and sweaty buff men.

The Allure of the Liam Neeson Dad Movie Genre

From the very beginning, it becomes evident that Plane is following the footsteps of the infamous “dad movie” genre, epitomized by the characters portrayed by Liam Neeson. These are action films featuring a bearded dad protagonist whose primary motivation is his family. While this premise may seem pedestrian, it taps into our basic empathy and the fear of losing a loved one. Despite the eye-rolling predictability of this genre, it has managed to endure due to its ability to captivate audiences on an emotional level.

Minimizing Character Development for Maximum Action

One advantage of the “dad movie” genre is that it minimizes the need for extensive character development beyond the main cast. The villains serve as mere obstacles in the face of the real antagonist—the situation itself. In Plane, this approach allows the director to focus primarily on delivering competent action sequences, an interesting premise, and a coherent storyline. By doing so, the movie satisfies the viewers who seek thrilling entertainment without getting lost in convoluted plotlines or complex characters.

Gerard Butler Soars in Another “Dad Movie” Performance

Gerard Butler, known for his involvement in the “dad movie” genre, once again delivers a solid performance as Brodie Torrance in Plane. The film stands out among others in the genre by effectively building tension in its action sequences. Unlike many movies that rely on explosive visual effects, Plane demonstrates a keen sense of pacing and escalation during the intense plane landing scene. While the choreography may not reach the levels of John Wick or Bourne films, it remains effective and purposeful.

A Focused and Efficient Narrative

One aspect of Plane that sets it apart is its ability to maintain a focused and efficient narrative. It avoids unnecessary drama and prolonged conflict among the survivors, showcasing characters who put aside personal differences when faced with dire circumstances. This decision by the director ensures that the audience’s attention remains on the thrilling action unfolding onscreen. Instead of wasting time on superfluous elements, the film allows us to witness Gerard Butler’s character utilizing his physical prowess to overcome obstacles.

Missed Opportunities with Mike Colter’s Character

Unfortunately, one notable drawback of Plane lies in its underutilization of Mike Colter’s character, Louis Gaspare. As a convicted murderer forced to work alongside Torrance for survival, Gaspare could have injected an intriguing layer of gray morality into the film. However, the movie fails to provide sufficient screentime or character development for Gaspare, leaving viewers with shallow insights into his backstory and personality. As a result, Gaspare becomes nothing more than action fodder, lacking the investment necessary to make an impact.

A Competent, Yet Unmemorable Action Movie

While Plane emerges as one of the better films in the “dad movie” genre, it ultimately fails to leave a lasting impression. The film provides a satisfying level of entertainment for the audience seeking mindless action and thrills, yet it lacks the memorability that would make it truly stand out. In retrospect, it is difficult to recall distinct details about the movie, and its impact fades quickly from memory. While Plane succeeds in its intended purpose, it remains within the boundaries of a forgettable experience.

Catering to a Specific Audience

Undeniably, there is a specific audience drawn to the simple pleasure of “dad movies,” seeking an opportunity to unwind and immerse themselves in the action-packed adventures of rugged heroes. Plane perfectly fills this niche, offering a predictable yet enjoyable cinematic experience. However, its limited depth suggests that it may be better suited for streaming or DVD consumption rather than a theatrical release with higher expectations. In fact, it would be an ideal choice to watch during a long flight, the irony certainly not lost on us.


In conclusion, Plane captures the essence of the “dad movie” genre, delivering a competent blend of action and thrills. While its premise may lack originality, the film compensates with solid performances, well-executed action sequences, and a focused narrative. Though it falls short in fully exploring certain character dynamics, particularly with Mike Colter’s underdeveloped role, the movie successfully caters to those seeking an entertaining escape without demanding a lasting impression. As Plane takes flight, it achieves acceptable entertainment without striving for new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Plane a sequel or part of a franchise?

No, Plane is not a sequel or part of any existing franchise. It is a standalone action movie with its own unique storyline.

2. Does the film rely heavily on visual effects?

No, Plane doesn’t heavily rely on visual effects. Instead, it focuses on practical action sequences and pacing to create tension and engage the audience.

3. Is there a romantic subplot in the film?

No, Plane primarily focuses on the survival and action aspects of the story. It does not include a romantic subplot between the main characters.

4. How does Gerard Butler’s performance compare to his other “dad movie” roles?

Gerard Butler delivers a strong performance as Brodie Torrance in Plane, showcasing his expertise in portraying tough and determined protagonists. While it may not be his most memorable role, he effectively captures the essence of the genre.

5. Can Plane be enjoyed by audiences who are not fans of action movies?

While Plane primarily targets action movie enthusiasts, it can still be enjoyed by those who appreciate straightforward, adrenaline-filled entertainment. However, individuals who generally do not gravitate towards the genre may find it less engaging.