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Denzel Washington gives an Oscar-nominated performance in this drama about an alcoholic airline pilot who spectacularly crash-lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving every soul on board. Whip (Washington) is hailed as a hero after the crash, but questions arise as to who or what was really at fault when alcohol and drugs are found in his blood. Co-stars John Goodman and Don Cheadle. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump).
After a 12 year absence from live action filmmaking, Zemeckis returns to directing a feature with real people (as opposed to CGI puppets), with his last one being 2000's Cast Away.
Rating: R16 contains offensive language, drug use & sexual themes
Twelve years after he disappeared down the CGI motion-capture rabbit hole with films like The Polar Express and Beowulf, uber-director Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Forrest Gump) returns to live-action filmmaking with this big studio drama about alcoholism.
Although the film goes out of its way to shock us with scenes of Denzel Washington snorting cocaine and swilling vodka just before taking control of a passenger jet, there's a formality to the drama here that recalls old fashioned studio filmmaking while having a mild distancing effect, emotionally speaking.
Similarly, there's a self-conciousness to Washington's lead performance that prevented me from ever losing sight of the fact that He Was Acting.
Despite these factors, I still found Flight to be an extremely entertaining watch, if not a wholly empathetic experience. The thrill of watching Zemeckis' technical filmmaking brilliance once again unfold in a realistic setting sustained me throughout, there's a raft of awesome character actors present and the crash scene is worth the price of admission alone.
A degree of crossover between Flight at the post-rescue scenes in Zemeckis' last live-action film Cast Away exists – both feature a man caught up in a media maelstrom following an incident involving air travel. Like in the Cast Away scenes, the grandiosity of the events and emotions in Flight are constantly being articulated by the characters and are rarely left to be inferred by the viewer with any kind of subtlety.
But I believe there is a place for this kind of grand, obvious studio filmmaking, and Flight makes a good argument for the entertainment value of such films.
A.V. Club (USA)
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)
Time Out New York
Total Film (UK)
Seen Them All
Not what I was expecting, a little bit slower than the normal pace of a Denzel Washington movie. On reflection I actually liked it more than I did when I left the theater, as this is one of those movies that grows on you slowly. Despite the trailer leading you to believe it is a nail biting airline movie, it isn't at all. It is a character study and a pretty good one at that.
Sad story that really challenges how you feel about the main character
I went to this film as I'm a self-professed fan of airlines, airports and anything to do with civil aviation. I didn't expect the whole film to be about this topic, but I was surprised how little of the film was actually based around the plane crash. I can definitely understand now why this film has got an R16 rating, as it depicts some pretty full-on topics and there is some mild nudity. The main character (played by Washington), is a love-hate character - he's a hero for landing the plane, but he's a distinctly unlikeable soul, who is truly addicted to certain vices. The ending of the film is quite sad. All up, a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but not a film that I would want to see again or own at home.
Movie about wasted captain of a commercial flight, doing his job. Craziness all around, loved the music and based on true story! Not just a good watch but most entertaining satire, bit too growth and drama for me, however great acting pulls it through, thanks to Washington & Goodman. Bet you'll think of this movie (much more than 'Airplane' series) next time you get onboard a flight!!
Genre : drama, real life
3/5 : not really my thing, but great watch, & I know I'll be thinking about the captain next time I fly.