Flight

"OK"

Flight Review


With another deeply committed performance, Washington brings badly needed complexity to what is otherwise a contrived, overstated drama about addiction. It helps that the film is directed by Zemeckis as a kind of companion piece to his last live-action movie, 2000's Cast Away, another film about a man whose life is dramatically changed by a plane crash. Although here he's lost in a wilderness of substance abuse.

Washington plays Whip, a veteran commercial pilot who fills his days with women, alcohol and drugs. Even when he's flying a plane full of passengers. On a routine flight from Orlando to Atlanta, a catastrophic malfunction sends his airliner hurtling toward the ground, prompting an outrageously inventive reaction that saves 96 of the 102 lives on board. Then the investigators discover that he had both alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time. His union rep (Greenwood) hires a high-powered lawyer (Cheadle) to represent him, but Whip doesn't even try to straighten up until he meets young junkie Nicole (Reilly), who's serious about cleaning up her life.

The main problem here is that Gatins' script completely misses the point of his own story, never remotely touching on the central theme of a flawed hero who has no real moral compass. So drugs are the villain; it has nothing to do with Whip's personal failings. Instead, the script just uses a variety of contrived characters to confront him with his drug problems until he finally cracks under all this pressure. Fortunately, Washington is excellent as the high-functioning addict, and the supporting cast is solid in providing whatever element Gatins needs at the moment: Cheadle's straight-arrow efficiency, Reilly's hopeful anguish and Greenwood's steadfast friendship, plus scene-stealer Goodman as Whip's hilariously honest dealer-buddy and Leo as a ruthlessly tenacious investigator.

It also helps that Zemeckis approaches the story with his usual visual skill, catching telling details with tricky camerawork and some jaw-dropping effects. The opening crash sequence is astonishing enough to make you hesitate before getting on a plane, and the film's quiet moments carry just as much weight. So it's a real shame that the script is so shallow, merely settling for another moralistic tale about the dangers of alcohol and drugs rather. There's nothing wrong with that, but if it had also addressed its more pressing themes, the film could have been much more important.

Rich Cline



Flight

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 138 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd November 2012

Box Office USA: $93.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $92.7M

Budget: $31M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Parkes/MacDonald Productions, Paramount Pictures, ImageMovers

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 170 Rotten: 49

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Whip Whitaker, as Hugh Lang, as Charlie Anderson, as Nicole, as Harling Mays, as Ken Evans, as Katerina Marquez, as Margaret Thomason, as Ellen Block, Garcelle Beauvais as Deana, Justin Martin as Will Whitaker Jr., as Avington Carr


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement