On A Wing and a Prayer Review – Inspirational True Story Delivers Big Emotion

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On a Wing and a Prayer, from MGM and Prime video, presents the story of Doug White and the miraculous and traumatic journey of flying the plane with his family on board, after the pilot suddenly dies mid-flight.

The film begins with White, played by Dennis Quaid, taking a discovery flight lesson. He is trying hard to land the Cessna and a combination of fear, lack of skills and his brother's constant concern, he finally gives up and hands controls back to the instructor. His brother, Jeff White, played by Brett Rice, is sitting behind him, telling him to take up pottery or some other hobby that keeps his feet on the ground.

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The two brothers are good friends also and as we see the next scene has them entering the locale Barbeque cook off and winning, which is where we meet the entire family, Terri White, played by Heather Graham, and their two daughters, Maggie, played by Jessi Case, and Bailey, played by Abigail Rhyne.

One day later, Doug gets a phone call and is told his brother has died. They return to Naples, Florida for the funeral. Three days later, Easter Sunday, 2009, a friend, Joe Cabuk, played by Wilbur Fitzgerald, a former Air Force pilot with a 30-year career, agrees to fly them back to Louisiana.

Minutes into the flight, Joe has Doug riding shotgun as his co-pilot and, as Doug asks him questions, Joe is giving him a simple cockpit conversational tutorial, like how to communicate with Air Traffic control, how to steer the plane with rudders, and as the cockpit control panel resembles the space shuttle, at least to Doug, the little information is passing the flight time banter.

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After exchanging information with Naples Air Traffic control, Joe fails to repeat the command, which causes Doug to discover that asks Joe has had a massive heart attack and his dead. With his wife and daughters in the back, he slowly realizes their lives are now in his hands and he attempts to contact Naples control for assistance.

This moves the film into the second act and we begin to understand not only the gravity of the White family's situation but also the divine movement of pieces, people, places, all in an unseen coordination bringing everyone together at one moment in time.

Throughout the film, with each introduction we see an onscreen introduction of the person, and occupation and flight time experience. When we reach Ft. Lauderdale air traffic control team, we meet Dan Favio, played by Rocky Myers, who we have seen earlier as he, with precision, expertise and skill, talks hundreds of planes safely through the air space.

Today, however, he is hungover, and we understand he can be terminated on the spot if he has alcohol in his system. Nothing at this point is working right, his cell phone is dead, he has a headache, and his friend is lecturing him on work ethic.

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Notified by Naples of the White family emergency, he tries to call his friend Kari, played by Jesse Metcalfe, a King Air flight instructor with more than 8000 hours, to ask for help. He hangs up on him. He calls back and finally Kari agrees to help, and as the film is played out it became a relay of instructions, all in air traffic control speak, filtered to Doug White, who was panicked, fighting fear, grieving over his brother, trying to understand God, and trying to answer the unanswerable questions.

As if this was not enough, a tropical depression was quickly moving in, wind sheer was making it impossible to control the plane, and his daughter had a peanut reaction and needed an epi pen injection.

On a Wing and a Prayer, an inspirational film, brings to the forefront the matter of faith, and the great orchestration of moments, people, places, the impossibility of circumstances and yet, like a great symphony, the perfection of the conductor through each piece, brings together a masterful and unforgettable work.

The ensemble cast, led by the director, genuinely presents each of the characters with authenticity. The emotion translates, and the audiences takes the journey with him as he confronts insurmountable odds.

Encouraging, emotional, On a Wing and a Prayer is a modern story of a real miracle, a triumph over impossible odds. It's a tearjerker. On a Wing and a Prayer premiere on Prime video Friday April 7, 2023. See it.

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Country: USA.

Language: English.

Runtime: 102 minutes.

Writer: Brian Egeston.

Producer:  Autumn Bailey-Ford, Roma Downey, Karl Horstmann.

Director: Sean McNamara.

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, Jesse Metcalfe, Brett Rice, Jessi Case, Abigail Rhyne, Raina Grey, Trayce Malachi.

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