On a Wing and a Prayer Review and Filming Locations Explained – A Paint By Numbers Drama

By Ricky Valero
Published: April 6, 2023 (Last updated: February 28, 2024)
On a Wing and a Prayer Review and Filming Locations
On a Wing and a Prayer (Image Credit to Prime Video)


On a Wing and a Prayer takes a true story and turns it into an over-dramatized Hollywood film that is horrible.

Prime Video brings a powerful true story to life with the feature film On a Wing and a Prayer. The film was initially set to debut in theaters in August of 2022, but the merger of MGM and Prime Video thwarted the release to April 7, 2023, on Prime Video. I’ve put together a comprehensive review and also delved into the filming locations.

The film is directed by Sean McNamara and stars Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham.

On a Wing and a Prayer Review and Plot Summary

On a Wing and a Prayer follows the story of a small-town pilot who dies during a flight causing a passenger to land the plane in order to save his entire family and everyone on the plane.

The film begins with us meeting Doug, who is trying to learn something new. So, Doug takes to learn how to fly a plane, and we enter into him trying to land the plane. Things aren’t going particularly well, as he is getting full of sweat and unable to control his anxiety as he prepares to land.

His flight teacher continues to try and help him along in the process, but Marcus continues to fail.

After this, we meet Doug’s crew, his wife Terri, and his spoiled daughter Maggie at a BBQ competition. Everyone in the family is excited because Doug and his friend have won the tournament. One night, Doug gets a phone call that his brother has passed away.

All of this causes friction with the family dynamic, with his wife Terri saying God will always be there, but after losing his father and brother, he starts to doubt God’s existence.

This is where the film kicks into high gear with Doug and his family flying on a private jet, and the moment happens when the pilot dies mid-flight, and Doug must take over the plane to save his family’s life. This is also where the movie gets extremely Hollywood with the overbearing score and the super dramatic dialogue that comes off very badly.

I can’t knock the cast for trying their best to make something out of nothing. Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham are veteran actors, and this isn’t their first rodeo with bad scripts. Their chemistry is the true highlight of the entire film.

I loved the emotional support that Graham provided Quaid during the vital moments of the film.

Another thing I didn’t love was that there were too many other factors within the story. You have this little kid listening, seventeen different people trying to talk to Doug, and they don’t do a great job settling into one space.

The film should’ve felt claustrophobic because it was a man in this small plane, but because they bounced so much, you don’t feel that once.

Is On a Wing and a Prayer worth watching?

It’s overly dramatized to the point that it’s unwatchable. You have some moments that are at least decent and a score that is actually rather decent.

Outside of that, it’s a rough script that fails to connect you emotionally.

You have bad movies that are bad and bad movies that are at least decent enough to be watchable, and On a Wing and a Prayer falls under the former.

I fully understand why Prime Video aborted the mission of releasing this in theaters because it has bomb written all over it. It will drop on their streaming platform, and everyone will forget this movie exists in two weeks.

Where was On a Wing and a Prayer filmed – a breakdown of filming locations

Fulton County Airport, Georgia

Fulton County Airport (Image Credit to Fulton County NY Gov Website)

On a Wing and a Prayer takes place mainly on a plane, and of course, planes take off and land at airports. To mimic this, the production team filmed at a real-life airport, namely Fulton County Airport in Georgia.

This would have needed permission from authoritative bodies, namely the Georgia Department of Transportation. You can’t just film at an airport, after all. But this gives the film higher authenticity for those sequences where the characters are at an airport and is ultimately cheaper than constructing a set.

Covington Soundstage, Georgia

While the true story took place between Marco Island, Florida, and Louisiana, the whole of this production took place in the state of Georgia. It’s a great location to imitate many other places and environments. From the lush forests to the towering skyscrapers, there isn’t much more the crew could ask for.

And, because Georgia is home to many studios, what isn’t readily available can be created with film sets.

Another reason why Georgia is the location for filmmakers is the financial incentives. Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20% tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia. This is applicable to companies producing feature films, television series, music videos, commercials, and even interactive games.

It’s one of the things that’s helped the state grow an abundance of productions-focused businesses.

As films cost millions of dollars to make, On a Wing and a Prayer would more than meet this threshold.

Jess Metcalfe, who plays Corey in the film, had this to say in an interview with Atlanta News:

“It was shot in a studio here in Georgia and, uh, you know one of the producers of the movie Autumn Bailey-Ford is a local…and the other producers were LightWorkers, and the head of LightWorkers is Roma Downey, and they were great people to work with, and I had an awesome experience out here.”

What did you think of On a Wing and a Prayer? Comment below.

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