On a Wing and a Prayer movie review (2023)

Winford Hunter

Primarily based on the real tale of the household who survived a very similar ordeal, “On a Wing and a Prayer” follows Doug White (Dennis Quaid), a dutiful husband to Terri (Heather Graham), father to his two women Maggie (Jessi Situation) and Bailey (Abigail Rhyne), a loving brother to Jeff (Brett Rice), a pleasant neighborhood pharmacist, a budding pilot, and a very pleased Louisiana resident. He is a person of faith whose religion is shaken by the unexpected demise of his brother. Wanting to pick his spirits up on Easter Sunday, Terri talks the pilot of their upcoming flight into permitting Doug sit in the co-pilot seat up front. It is blue skies as far as the eyes can see—until their pilot slumps in his seat, dead. Now it is up to Doug to secure his family members and get them back to earth with a tiny assistance from Divine Intervention and some nicely-timed radio and phone phone calls to get the worldly coaching he desires to fly his airplane. 

McNamara, who formerly ventured into spiritual film waters with “Soul Surfer,” boils the premise down to familiar beats and motifs. The grieving patriarch who turns his back again on God class-corrects again onto his spiritual tracks when dealing with doom. A manage tower worker named Dan (Rocky Myers) struggles with alcoholic beverages and chasing women until finally the functions of that working day and magically reforms by nightfall. A couple in Connecticut, Kari (Jesse Metcalfe) and Ashley (Anna Enger Ritch) are on their way to a separation when they alternatively staff up to avoid catastrophe. Nothing at all is stunning or exciting about these shallow 1-be aware tales. We know where by they are heading for the reason that screenwriter Brian Egeston’s dialogue painstakingly overexplains what’s taking place as we’re observing it happen, and for the reason that some times of the motion picture have all the acting and visible finesse of a Hallmark Channel movie. If you missed the before signs, possibly the evident tunes cues will enable: “Spirit in the Sky” accompanies take off, and then a protect of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is employed in the film’s climax. 

My frustrations with “On a Wing and a Prayer” go further than its simplistic “1+1=2” screenwriting, low-priced visual effects, and cable-prepared cinematography. McNamara and Egeston do not believe in the suspense of their tale to get the job done on its have, so other troubles are thrown into the mix, like a shock storm a random allergic response and a precocious aspiring aviatrix named Donna (Raina Gray) and her clueless but enthusiastic mate, Buggy (Trayce Malachi), who spend substantially of their screentime describing the air command tower jargon and how they’re undertaking it mistaken. These are not people they are storytelling equipment at their most obvious and aggravating. At one particular level, as the young children are next the probable disaster, Donna says that she would like to turn out to be a pilot like her father “Because one particular time just after science class, Mr. Jones claimed I couldn’t.” The instant feels wildly glib, like the filmmakers attempted to shoe-horn in a lady intrigued in airplanes because the relaxation of the ladies in the forged are just along for the experience. 

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