If I may paraphrase comedian Louis C.K., “Aviation is amazing and nobody’s happy.” That’s the argument Living in the Age of Airplanes succeeds in making.
Because we’ve commercially enjoyed airplanes for half a century, however, we now take them for granted. We bemoan their 20% delay rate. We ignore an accident rate of LESS THAN one in a million (safer than driving). We overlook the wonderful places airplanes take us, the game-changing experiences they enable, and the beautiful things they deliver (including flowers).
After seeing this movie, I’m gonna bask in their awesomeness. I’m going to treat airports as speed portals to this big round ball. The next time I pick up a two-day package from Amazon, I’m gonna pour a little out for the flying metal tube that brought the world to my doorstep. Seriously, not even monarchs had it this good.
While Variety pessimistically labels the documentary as “little more than an endorsement of the tourism and shopping industries,” to that I say: Whatchu smokin’, Willis? What’s wrong with inspiring people to see the most beautiful planet in a universe of gazillions? What’s wrong with the superior goods and life experiences globalization affords even minimalist consumers?
The answer, of course, is “nothing.” And for good measure, “haters gonna hate.” The real answer to life is “be grateful” or let callousness drown you. This movie teaches that.
Thanks for producing it, National Geographic. Thanks for directing it Brian Terwilliger. Thanks for changing my perspective. Five stars out of five (second only to Mad Max: Fury Road as my favorite movie of the year so far).
PS—My only critique of the film: Its sometimes overblown (but never distracting) score and its ridiculously limited release for something so good.