ON A WING AND A PRAYER
(director: Sean McNamara; screenwriter: Brian Egeston; cinematographer: Christian Sebaldt; editor: Jeff Canavan; music: Brandon Roberts; cast: Dennis Quaid (Doug White), Heather Graham (Terri White), Jesse Metcalfe (Kari Sorenson), Tonglan Qiu (Matteus), Abigail Rhyne (Bailey White), Brett Rice (Jeff White), Roger Anthony (Bill Jones), Selena Ariduze (Lisa Grimm), Rocky Myers (Dan Favio), Anna Enger Ritch (Ashley Harrison), Raina Grey (Donna); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Roma Downey/Autumn Bailey/Karl Horstmann; Amazon Studios; 2023)
“Dull faith-based film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An awkwardly told heavy-handed sermonizing true story that recreates a civilian’s emergency landing on a private jet plane in this dull faith-based film directed by Sean McNamara (“The King’s Daughter”/”Mighty Oak”) and written by Brian Egeston. It offers an uninspiring formulaic dramatization.
It’s set in 2009. Doug White (Dennis Quaid) and his wife Terri (Heather Graham) and two teenage children are flying from Florida to their Louisiana home on Easter after a funeral for his brother on a chartered flight, when their pilot dies mid-flight. Thereby Doug takes the controls as a flawed aspiring air-traffic controller (Rocky Myers) guides him to safely to land the plane, with the help of an experienced pilot from Connecticut (Jesse Metcalfe), who knows the plane, while storms fill the sky and his daughter’s peanut allergy flares up. The rescue was shot on CGI. It never seemed believable.
The outcome is predictable. Its tribute to Doug’s heroism is not sincere, as it urges its target believer viewer to believe it was the power of Doug’s faith that saved the day (you can believe whatever you want, but what you believe is not what I believe).
REVIEWED ON 4/19/2023 GRADE: C-