Denzel Washington puts in a solid performance as Whip, a brilliant but flawed airpline pilot, in this tale of a man trying to make peace with himself.
Within five minutes of the film starting, we’ve pretty much got the low-down on the darker side of his character – Whip is an air hostess banging, coke snorting, alcoholic with a failed marriage. His has a couple of redeeming features, mainly an easy charm, and his ability to land an aircraft upside down, after it suffers a catastrophic mechanical failure.
The early scenes of Flight, leading up to the air craft crash landing in a field, are white knuckle stuff. This is one film you definitely do not want to catch on an in-flight entertainment system. After he saves the lives of most of the passengers, in a seemingly implausible air born manoeuvre, Whip wakes in a hospital to find the authorities have already carried a blood test, and are likely to find him guilty of flying while under the influence, and of the manslaughter of the five or so passenger and crew that didn’t survive the crash. The remainder of the film centres around him trying to straighten out, and face up to his responsibilities.
Denzel Washington puts in an accomplished performance, and while gaining an Oscar nomination, it’s not likely to rob Daniel Day-Lewis from taking home the silver ware come late February. He’s ably supported by Don Cheedle and Bruce Greenwood, as the lawyer and union rep trying to keep him out of jail.
John Goodman makes several barn storming appearances as Whip’s drug buddy, and seems to have wandered in from an entirely different film. While I love John Goodman, it was at this point that I started to dis-engage from the film emotionally – one minute you’re being asked to sympathise with Whip’s plight, the next you’re plunged into an Argo meets Big Lebowski mash-up.
Overall, it’s an entertaining ride, ably helmed for the most part by Robert Zemeckis, but veers into a unlikely romantic sub story involving Whip and a Heroin addict in the middle, and is, like many Hollywood films, way too long and a suffers from a very American ending. For all that, it’s a great watch
Harling Mays: Oh! Oh, almost forgot- I got you some stroke mags. Been in the hospital, know what you need. Got Juggs, Hot Milfs and Eat Ass Masters. You just stroke it all day- you’re a hero. If I was you, I’d just lay here, pulling on that thing all day long.