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While piloting a small plane carrying a prisoner to Canada, the crew find themselves crash landing in a war zone after being caught in a storm. Action thriller starring Gerard Butler and Mike Colter.

“Here in my car I feel safest of all,” sang Gary Numan in 1979. With 2023 seeing a movie called Plane released and a follow up called Ship planned for the future, Gary could be quids in if he worked through all the other modes of transport.

Genius marketing ideas aside, Plane stars Gerard Butler (Geostorm) and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) as pilot and felon when a routine flight crashes into a nightmare.

What Is Plane About?

Former RAF pilot Brodie Torrance (Butler) has been flying commercial planes for years.

Tasked last minute with transporting fugitive Louis Gaspare (Colter) along with his 14 other commercial passengers, things go south when the aircraft is damaged by a bad storm and has to crash land somewhere in the South China Sea, where the local authorities dare not tread.

The problem with highly descriptive titles is that they can set expectations. A name like Plane suggests a self contained thriller not unlike Speed.

In actual fact the amount of time spent within the plane bookends a central section which I’m going to dub ‘Plane Has Fallen’.

Once stranded on an unknown island it isn’t long before the local powerful gang descends upon the plane, seeking profits from ransoms and looting.

Brodie must reluctantly team up with Louis to rescue his passengers, coordinate with a ‘private military outfit’ (that the airline sends to help in the absence of any local governmental power), and get everyone out of danger.

This mid-section is functional, if uninspired. The big bad guy in the area is warlord Datu Junmar (Evan Dane Taylor) who brings a hefty dose of lethal menace, even if there is no individual zing to his character.

The passengers – after getting set up with idiosyncratic personality quirks in the first act – end up sitting around doing very little.

Plane Official Trailer

Is Plane Worth Watching?

Plane is only interested in showing us Butler and Colter in military mode which is a workmanlike, if bland, approach.

Yet the titular parts of this flighty movie are well executed. Although presumably dramatic licence is used during the opening 20 minutes lead up to the plane crash, the whole sequence from loss of power to emergency landing presents an adrenaline drenched efficiency that is heart in the mouth stuff. Butler’s furrowed brow sells the lip-chomping tension of it all splendidly.

Similarly, getting that broken airliner back up into the air is portrayed with a pleasing mixture of bodge work, ‘every second counts’ nail-biting, and a blazing gun battle to boot.

Plane starts strong and ends strong, but no sandwich is complete without a flavourful filling.

What essentially lets Plane down is a lack of character development. Butler has to save everyone and leans on a military past so he gets a pass.

The biggest shame is a total waste of Mike Colter. Colter exudes his usual stoic charismatic presence which pairs well with Butler’s put upon captain, but his character remains precisely the same throughout the whole movie.

Hints are dropped that Colter is possibly innocent of the crime he was being transported for, or at least there are relatable circumstances.

But we don’t get to hear them. Nor do we see Colter in a starting emotional place and reaching some sort of actualisation of that place by the end of the movie.

Considering the passengers also are totally static, come the final credits you can’t help but feel that amongst all the guns and wings there was an actual story that could have been told.

Regardless of this missed opportunity Plane still delivers a solid action fare that makes for comfort viewing without ever descending into boring airspace.

It’s just a shame it never adjusted its flaps and ascended to higher things.

Words by Mike Record

Cast Of Plane Movie On Prime Video

Directed by Jean-François Richet and written by Charles Cumming and J. P. Davis, Plane is an action movie that boasts an impressive cast.

Gerard Butler (Kandahar) as Brodie Torrance, a former RAF pilot who now works for Trailblazer Airlines

Mike Colter as Louis Gaspare, a prisoner being extradited to Canada on charges of murder

Tony Goldwyn as Scarsdale who leads the rescue effort

Yoson An as Samuel Dele, the co-pilot

Evan Dane Taylor as Datu Junmar, a local terrorist leader

Paul Ben-Victor as Terry Hampton, the owner of Trailblazer airlines

Lilly Krug as Brie Taylor, a passenger and social media influencer

Kelly Gale as Katie Dhar, Brie's friend and companion

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  • Plane Sequences Are Great
  • Meat And Potatoes Thriller Action
  • Butler And Colter Pair Well


  • Passengers Set Up Then Abandoned
  • Mid-section Is Functional
  • Colter Not Given Any Kind Of Arc


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