Runway 34 Review: Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan & Rakul Preet Singh’s mediocre aviation drama crash lands

Runway 34 Review Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan & Rakul Preet Singh's mediocre aviation drama crash lands
  • Runway 34
  • Cast: Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Rakul Preet Singh, Boman Irani
  • Director: Ajay Devgn
  • Release: Theatres
  • Rating: 2.5/5

Tom Hanks adapted the true story of Sully, who made an emergency landing in the middle of the Hudson River in 2016. Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood, was an enthralling drama about a man dealing with the post-event trauma of a heroic incident. Ajay Devgn’s Runway 34, based on a similar premise, succeeds in producing exciting moments, but only in parts and pieces.

The actor-director spends no time establishing himself as a cool and experienced pilot. Captain Vikrant Khanna, played by Ajay, casually mentions to his daughter that he was nicknamed “Mr Photographic Memory” at school. Runway 34 follows a linear narrative structure, with many characters introduced early in the first half.

The trailer for Runway 34 made it quite obvious what roles the main characters play in the film. Aside from Ajay, the other two prominent characters are Rakul Preet Singh as Tanya Albuquerque, the co-pilot, and Amitabh Bachchan as Narayan Vedant, the investigator. The authors create interesting characters on the tragic aircraft, including a YouTuber, an aviation journalist, and a sick senior citizen.

With Runway 34’s linear storytelling, no scene comes as a complete surprise or a foreshadowing of what is to come. With Capt. Khanna partying and returning to transport hundreds of passengers the next evening. Ajay Devgn and his dialogue writers Sandeep Kewlani and Aamil Keeyan Khan pick up the picture’s pace. The cinematography of Aseem Bajaj and the background music of Amar Mohile maintain the screenplay lively, exciting, and crisp.

Amitabh and Ajay’s interrogation is the highlight of the second half, yet it does not completely fascinate you. The film’s strength is in its visual effects and visually astounding sequences that Devgn manages to create while telling a decent story. However, this does not excuse Runway 34 from having its share of goofy moments. In the film, Ajay Devgn is interviewed, and his job as a pilot who transports hundreds of people is likened to that of a delivery guy. Also, why is Tanya Albuquerque the name of Rakul’s pilot character? Despite a couple of exchanges on how to pronounce her name, the creators never clarify it.

Ajay Devgn practically devotes the film’s whole first half to the plane crash. The in-flight scenes are undeniably the most fascinating, thanks to VFX and background music. Runway 34 isn’t particularly memorable in terms of acting, either. There’s nothing more to say about Ajay Devgn’s typical charm, Amitabh Bachchan’s frightening personality, or Rakul Preet Singh’s competent performance. Boman Irani, a fantastic actor, also appears in the film and attempts to give a fascinating performance with a poorly written character.

Runway 34 is good one-time viewing, but there are better aviation dramas to watch.