Film Review: Flight

| 31 January , 2013 | Reply

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Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, John Goodman, Nadine Valazquez, Tamara Tunie, Kelly Reilly
Sassi’s Star Rating: 3.5 / 5

Director Robert Zemeckis, a special effects whiz back in the day, brings us Flight. His skill is building a story around a major scene that usually has you clenching the seat with your hands. He’s the spark behind Castaway, Contact, Forrest Gump and Back to the Future, to name a few. Denzel Washington stars in this film as Whip Whitaker, a pilot with a lifestyle that is not becoming of the task he has on a daily basis with many ‘souls’ on board his flights. Whilst the enormity of the flight crashing is where you think the focus would be, it’s the collapse of Whip’s life post the event that is more intriguing.


Denzel, to his credit, is an unlikeable character in this film. He’s got it all and doesn’t appreciate it. Whip lives a great life travelling and living the dream of a pilot, but the partying is where he excels. For years he has been able to get away with it but on a regular flight one day, this is not the case. Arriving in the cockpit after big night of drinking with a line of cocaine to get him started, Captain Whitaker looks set to make the short flight a breeze. However, a mechanical fault sets in motion a chain of events that unbelievably end with the plane being inverted. Chaos ensues within the plane as expected. Miraculously the Captain manages to flip the plane again, maintain a course and glide into a field away from populated areas.


He is branded a hero for achieving a feat no other has done before but as the NTSB start to investigate the crash, the recordings and findings on board, his character comes into question. Air stewards Katerina (Valazquez) and Margaret (Tunie) know him all too well after spending many years on board with him. What will be reported after the crash of this knowledge?


Harling (Goodman) is brilliant in his role as the chief drug supplier for Whip. He is faithful to his friend but a drug dealer first! He manages Whip effectively and is on hand immediately after the event to get him back up and running. You have to crack up at his character especially in the hotel room scene – he’s on fire, so watch out for that one! Strangely absent are his family members, who clearly have given up on him and have no time for his alcoholism.


In a strange twist, Whip meets Nicole (Reilly) in the hospital and they are birds of a feather. She has had one overdose too many and is ready to meet sobriety. It becomes her passion to help Whip rehabilitate. Together they go through some tough times but all the while Lang (Cheadle) is working to quash Whip’s blood screening taken after the crash and work on a case to blame the manufacturer for bad parts.

Whip has to fight his demons and win a case when the spotlight of the world is upon him. Can he make it? Was it really just luck or is he the best pilot even on his worst day?

Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight, in cinemas now!


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Category: Film & TV

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