Movie Review: 'Flight Crew' ('The Crew') Lands Thrilling Results

Flight Crew The Crew Ekipazh Danila Kozlovsky Alexey Gushchin
“Flight Crew” (“The Crew,” aka “Ekipazh”) is a disaster thriller that is anything but a catastrophe. Set in modern-day Russia, the movie follows military pilot, Alexey Gushchin (Danila Kozlovsky). After taking matters into his own hands during a mission, Alexey finds himself trying to get a job as a pilot on a passenger airline.

He eventually gets hired as a second-pilot trainee. As the movie progresses, Alexey and others end up amid a natural disaster when the plane he is co-piloting lands to rescue stranded tourists. The result of a volcanic eruption on an Aleutian Island. From here, “Flight Crew” puts on a spectacle that matches all of the big disaster movies with one crucial addition.

Director Nikolai Lebedev gives “Flight Crew” something few of its peers possess – terrific character-driven subplots and a likable protagonist in Danila Kozlovsky’s Alexey. There is also a fantastic ensemble of supporting characters with pilot Leonid Zinchenko (Vladimir Mashkov, “The Duelist”), providing a formidable frenemy foil for Kozlovsky’s idealistic hero. It all comes together for something quite unique and special.

The version streaming on Amazon Prime Video clocks in at 100 minutes, and it is 100% worth the watch. There is harrowing danger devoid of any chaotic mayhem for bedlam’s sake. It all has a purpose, which sets off a chain reaction.

As someone who believes that the greatest strength of the disaster genre lies in how it connects different characters, “Flight Crew” provides a prime example of its merits. People putting their personal differences aside to survive never gets old.

“Flight Crew” manages to give some extraordinary yet feasible solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. There is one particular scene where sharp-thinking provides a realistic-enough resolution.

At the hub of all of this is Danila Kozlovsky’s Alexey. Not every character that has this kind of superhuman insight is always likable, but in Alexey’s case, he is. Having a confident protagonist devoid of ego is tough to secure, and yet “Flight Crew” manages to land it.

This feat is accomplished thanks to Danila Kozlovsky’s performance. It is an engaging turn that allows him to show a dynamic range of emotions. As Alexey, Kozlovksy gets to be assured, daring, mischievous, and charming, among other attributes. It is a lot to pack in, but it is all in there.

“Flight Crew” is a very absorbing film with terrific special effects to back up its strong storytelling. It has a visceral sensibility, managing to really penetrate a vein that a genre, which is usually so predictable, rarely achieves. It is a heart-racer, so remember to breathe!

Rating: 8.5/10

“Flight Crew” (“The Crew” on Amazon Prime Video, aka “Ekipazh”) is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

[Featured Image by Central Partnership / Mosfilm / Cinema Fund / Paramount Pictures]