Pushing Tin

Stars: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie

John Cusack (Nick Falzone) plays a smart aleck air traffic controller vying for job superiority with newcomer Billy Bob Thornton (Russell Bell) in “Pushing Tin”, whose title represents the phrase they used to describe the high stakes job of avoiding crashes in an airspace filled with 50-ton monsters.

I guess it could have been far more interesting if the story didn’t surround a bunch of jerks who take bets on who would crack next or have a near miss. Air traffic controllers have some of the highest divorce and suicide rates ever, they state. I don’t doubt it but this movie did little to elicit sympathy from its audience thanks to John Cusack’s cowboying around the scope.

I can’t remember a movie in which John Cusack ever played a sympathetic character. He’s always a smart aleck and I always wish he’d get kicked in the teeth.

Here, his character is stupid enough to have an affair with Russell’s wife (Angelina Jolie), a spaced out drunk who cries because she lost her child … a glorified house plant! Of course that turns his own marriage on end to Connie (unrecognizable Cate Blanchett) and sets up the very delicate relationship line he must now walk with Russell who’s about as wacky as they come.

That pretty much sets up the story. I love seeing Billy Bob Thornton – he always looks so different in each of his roles, but as far as I’m concerned this movie was one of those – “Who cares” features. I don’t know why this one got the green light.

Lotta says “Pushing Tin is a take it or leave it movie. If you can’t find something better at the video store then go for it, but it shouldn’t be your first or even your second choice.