Sully (Paul Newman) is approaching retirement. In the present day, Sully walks with a limp, which he received while working in building and construction. Sully is also battling for worker’s compensation from the manager, Carl (Bruce Willis), who continually refuses to pay Sully a single dollar. Regardless of Sully’s work claims, he continues to work for Carl while causing some cheeky mischief along the way, including flirtatious moments with Toby (Melanie Griffith), a woman who, funnily enough, recently separated from Carl.
On top of the many challenges in Sully’s life are more problems just around the corner. For starters, his son (who he hasn’t seen in some time) and his family return to town. Soon, Sully finds himself having to relive many aspects of his past and take a deeper reflection on his relationship with his son and grandson. Now Sully is considering his own future and the future of those around him, including family and close friends.
Sully is best described as a drama film, but to my surprise, thanks to actor Paul Newman, the film also includes multiple comedic and witty moments. Paul Newman as Sully is extremely likeable. Sully is a somewhat typical role for Paul Newman and is a charming character with funny one-liners who can be defensive in certain situations. Naturally, for the most part, there’s a fun character on show, even more so when he discovers his family has returned home.
Pacing is great for the most part, but I can’t deny the film begins a little slow. In the first act, Sully interacts with various characters in many conversations, which at first seem somewhat pointless. I assure you, though, there’s plenty of payoff for audiences who invest in the film by the third act. The musical score by Howard Shore is a major standout. It’s touching, somewhat magical, and fitting for the film’s upbeat and feel-good themes. The film also includes many well-known actors throughout, which was a nice surprise, including Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Dylan Walsh and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Overall, what begins as a slow-paced story about an old man with a limp soon transforms into something far greater than I could have ever expected. It’s a touching story about family, friendships and loyalty. Paul Newman once again delivers a fun, likeable and charming character to the screen. While slow to begin with, the film delivers a strong payoff and reward by the third act. There are moments where I generally laughed out loud and other moments that felt gripping, dramatic and heartfelt. In the end, it’s just a fun and lovable film that packs great rewards for those who invest in it.