After watching all of those commercials and trailers for Flight,
you might think you know what it is all about, and that's when Denzel
Washington surprises you.
Washington stars as Whip Whitaker - an alcoholic pilot who also likes
to do cocaine (Sully must be irate!). After a wild night out, Whip has
to pilot a small plane on a short hop from Orlando to Atlanta, which
should be no problem, but we wouldn't have a movie if the flight went
well (seriously, can you imagine how boring the movie would be if it
was two hours of TSA touching your junk, watching beverage service and
seeing what happens to your baggage on its way from plane to
During the flight, something horribly malfunctions on the plane, and
only Whip's amazing display of skills saves them from what could have
been a terrible disaster. However, as he is being celebrated for being
a hero, it is discovered Whip was drunk and high past all legal limits
during the flight.
Will Whip be held responsible?
Can he get his life under control?
While the primary plot of Flight is about whether or not Whip
sent to jail, the movie more so is about Whip's struggle to realize he
has a drinking and drug problem, and it is ruining his life in every
respect. That's where Washington soars.
As an actor, no one captures that righteous indignation and coolness in
his character like Washington, which is why we are captivated while
watching Whip's life fall apart as he struggles and fails to go down
the path of sobriety. Washington puts an amazing face of pride and
denial on Whip, while also showing us the man's vulnerability,
failures, weaknesses and overall feelings of desperation. He's just
perfect from opening scene to closing credits.
Meanwhile, director Robert Zemeckis and writer John Gatins make Flight
a fully rounded film. Zemeckis fashions the infamous flight in the
title into one of the most harrowing sequences captured on film. Every
moment is full of danger, tension, fear and shock, while Gatins also
walks a fine line between courtroom drama and personal drama.
Gatins's script makes it clear to us what is at stake, what Whip has
done, what has gone wrong with the plane and how everyone involved is
looking to cover their butts (believe me, you will see all sorts of
reality in this scenario). However, the ultimate resolution, as well as
Whip's personal journey, is what keeps the audience in suspense until
the very end.
is a wonderful movie only brought down slightly by the use of John
Goodman's character, Harling Mays. In short, he's Whip's buddy/dealer,
and the way Goodman has been directed to ham it up and provide extreme
comical relief goes too far. It's not Goodman's fault.
is almost perfect.
is rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and
an intense action sequence.