A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
Whip Whitaker is a commuter airline pilot. While on a flight from Orlando to Atlanta something goes wrong and the plane starts to fly erratically. With little choice Whip crashes the plane and saves almost all on board. When he wakes up in the hospital, his friend from the airline union introduces him to a lawyer who tells him there's a chance he could face criminal charges because his blood test reveals that he is intoxicated with alcohol and cocaine. He denies being impaired, so while an investigation is underway, he is told to keep his act together. However, letting go of his addiction is not as easy as it seems... Written by
In the earlier movie High Road to China (1983), the character of Patrick O'Malley (Tom Selleck) drinks heavily and flies a plane whilst hungover, and even flies it upside-down. These combined story elements are all also performed by Denzel Washington in this movie too. See more »
When Whip looks at his iPhone, the time on the locked screen says 1:16 - 1:17, but when the phone is unlocked it says 8:52. See more »
Enter destination. Purchase tickets. "No outside food or drink". Second door on your right. Take seat. Await the journey that lies ahead. Once the ambiance is set and the morale of the cinema-goers is lifted at the conclusion of thirty minutes of abundant previews, Flight commences in a dramatic, surprising and frankly rather entertaining fashion. For the most part, the first half hour of the Robert Zemeckis film is everything you wanted and expected following your presumed consumption of the trailer beforehand. Unfortunately however, it becomes evident throughout the 138 minute feature that we are victims to a cinematic bait-and- switch, by which I mean our expectations become decreasingly fulfilled and the film's title only supplements the key theme of substance addiction, that is ever-present in the character Whip Whitaker's life.
The first 30 minutes of Flight are cared for with a great deal of delicacy. We encounter THE scene of the film; the title scene, the scene that most likely sparked 90% of the viewers' interest to actually go to see the film in the first place. How does this sequence levitate against our expectations? Above and beyond without question. The entire scene engulfs the theatre seat occupiers as much as it does those in the plane seats. You feel you are them. Almost all camera shots are interior, enforcing the claustrophobia, panic, and gasps in the environment, all of which are difficult to differentiate between the characters in the film and the cinema-goers surrounding you. Other incredible gripping scenes later in the film focus entirely on drama and realism. Protagonist Whip's battle with alcoholism is treated as the primary focus of the feature, and if not for the strong performances, the film would have fallen apart from the opening credits, like the runner who forgot to stretch or the student who was too lazy to take notes. Something that may be taken for granted is in fact the key component which helps bring Flight home safely and satisfactorily. Denzel Washington's role as an intoxicated and irresponsible pilot makes the film alone worth seeing. Every time he makes a morally questionable decision, we the audience react in a manner that parallels the game show enthusiast's desire for gratification. You almost want to scream and the screen each time Whip makes a decision you are not fond of, though still wish to see where it takes the film. You never want him to succeed in the sense that he desires, but more achieve success through facing his responsibilities. He is a broken character, a tragic hero, perhaps relatable to some, but certainly intriguing to all.
Regrettably, from takeoff Flight suffers from instances of turbulence and an unwanted delay. Kelly Reilly injects a fine performance as Nicole, who eventually meets Whip and their mutual difficulties with substance abuse elicit a romance that should have never boarded the Flight. Her existence in the film is irrelevant and increases running time also, though there is never a dull moment in the 138 minute picture, therefore the integration of this romance will probably please some, though I most definitely declare my slight annoyance at its unnecessary presence.
Zemeckis rectifies the troubling turbulence by securely landing into a graceful and exceedingly fulfilling conclusion. He essentially does what Denzel Washington's character does, by taking control over his line of work and doing a great job of it, until some slight mishaps that needed correcting, otherwise they both would have headed for disaster. The director saves his film with a remarkably powerful conclusion that really could not have given you anymore that it provided. Hopefully Zemeckis was not under the influence of any illegal or physically altering substance during principal photography, though if he was, he sure did a fantastic job of completing a very fine project.
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