“Examining the months since the tragedies, which caused global panic in March 2019 after two new aircrafts crashed within five months, killing 346 people.”

Director: Rory Kennedy
Writers: Mark Bailey, Kevin McAlester
Release Date: February 18, 2022

It is hard to review documentaries. It really comes down to a sense of whether or not you like it. In the case of Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (2022), the message it sends and the setup for the greed of Boeing is strong, but come the end you are left waiting for resolution to an overarching theme that we already know about in this world. Big businesses care about profit, and when they put profit in front of common sense, bad things can and probably will happen.

Between October 2018 and March 2019, two Boeing jets crashed in unpredictable ways and 346 people passed away. The Boeing 743 MAX Passenger airline was grounded, but not happily by Boeing and not all-to-willingly by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Downfall: The Case Against Boeing tells the story of how the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration eventually had their eyes opened to the shortcuts that Boeing took.

It is eye-opening to see how far Boeing went in trying to complete the shortcuts to profitability. The most impactful scenes and interviews of the movie come from the workers in the factories. There is a hidden camera interaction where one of the workers is told of the shady work on the plane and then hangs his head and laughs out of worry is particularly striking.

Where Downfall: The Case Against Boeing loses steam is in its ending. It has a hard time landing the message that rich people do bad things. This is a known thing, so the directors tried to punch it home in the end with the families. I get it, but it didn’t click for me. I was most interested in the government vs. Boeing and what they did that was so egregious. I know that adding a personal touch allows people to connect to the story more, but with this documentary it detracted from its most interesting parts.

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing will teach you something, but in the end you already what the reveal is at the end. It’s entertaining to a point, but only a certain point.

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)


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