Title – Flight (2012)
Director – Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away)
Cast – Denzel Washington, Bruce Greenwood, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman
Plot – Airplane pilot Whip Whittaker (Washington) is pronounced a national hero after piloting a plane in a malfunction and saving the lives of the majority of the passengers. His heroism is questioned however when it comes to light he is an alcoholic and drug addict. Flight explores not only the plane crash but the battle Whip faces to overcome his demons.
“You’re a hero, man! You will never pay for a drink for as long as you live.”
Review by Eddie on 22/6/2013
Like all plane journeys, Flight takes off and soars, plateau’s for a majority but then thankfully bucks the trend and doesn’t land with a thud. This is largely due to a fantastic against type performance by Denzel Washington and a truly edge of your seat opening 30 minutes. This opening certainly is a welcome return to form and live action by Robert Zemeckis.
Zemeckis has unfortunately been pre occupied with CGI motion capture for far to long, Flight marks 13 years since we last saw him direct Tom Hanks in the much loved live action classic Cast Away. In between that time Zemeckis has churned out rubbish like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol, neither of which are fondly remembered. It took something special to bring Zemeckis back to the real world and no doubt the opportunity to give Washington another centre stage performance was that.
As Whip, an arrogant drunken drug addict Washington completely owns the film. It’s due to him we are kept engaged through the unfathomably dull middle section of the film, this could also be due to the fact there was no way really up from the incredibly done opening segments. Washington’s ability to say much with a mere look of the eyes or movement of the body is a real testament to one of the truly great actors working today and arguable ever.
Due to Washington’s Oscar worthy turn (if ole Abe wasn’t at this years Oscars I think Denzel would of had another golden man to display) all other actors and aspects of the film seem quite mediocre. Even the normally scene stealing John Goodman as Whip’s drug dealing buddy feels annoying something that you don’t say of the great Goodman very often. Some parts of the film also feel slightly forced or random, Kelly Reilly’s recovering drug addict love interest comes to mind straight away.
Flight in the end however is a addiction drama masked in a disaster film. What we are left with is a movie with a touching central performance, one of the best opening half’s in a film in recent memory and a return to the screen proper of a true genius filmmaker. Like a plane ride it’s not about the journey but the destination and come films end it’s hard not to moved by a performance like Washington’s really taking flight.
3 and a half cigarettes out of 5