last flight for series B according to Jean-François Richet


Jean-François Richet, who burst onto French screens with suburban fireships (State of playin 1995, My 6-T is going to crack-er, in 1997), has for some time alternated productions in French and English, on both sides of the Atlantic, with the ambition of synthesizing an effective formula, close to a certain genre cinema. Whether may day is perhaps the one who comes closest to it, thanks to his welcome modesty (Richet did not always go along with it, as evidenced by the recent Emperor of Paris2018), which consists in reactivating the cogs of a typical B series action program of the 1980s-1990s, without seeking to amplify it but simply applying it to the letter.

Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler), an old veteran of aviation who passed through the Royal Air Force, but reconverted into low-cost flights, must ensure a last long-haul flight, between Singapore and California, before the New Year. Apart from a few ordinary passengers, he is forced to take on board a reputedly dangerous prisoner being transferred (Mike Colter). Encountering a thunderstorm, the aircraft takes a lightning strike which undermines the electrical system, which forces the pilot to make an emergency landing in the middle of nowhere. In fact, on a lost island in the Philippines, where an armed militia rages to the teeth. In order to save his passengers, the commander will be forced to make an alliance with the convict.

Go to the end of the mission

The original title, Plane (“ airplane “), clearly announces the sharpness and the basic character of the program, where Richet and his screenwriters, Charles Cumming and JP Davis, mix well-known elements of disaster film and operation commando. Above all, they restore a model of physical action that seemed to have been swept away long ago by a Hollywood that had completed its transition to all-digital. Through his hero, Richet paints the expected portrait of a professional whose obsession is to go to the end of his mission – to accomplish his program, in which we can see an obvious relay of the filmmaker himself. .

The film restores a model of physical action that seemed long since swept away by Hollywood

But the ethics guiding Torrance go a little further: ” Everything in its time “, thus repeats the pilot as a motto, or as a mantra. Richet takes morality on his own and seems to redo his scales within such a emaciated formula, which leaves no room for personal expression. One shot after another, raising the tension, reaching its climax: elementary notions of staging that make all the value of this object returned from the hell of the B series, as if it constituted today a lost paradise.

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