Thursday, May 16, 2013

Film Review: Flight (2012)

Flight (2012)
United States/2012
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Flight Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) wakes up from a night of debauchery with flight attendant Katerina Márquez. Drunk, high on cocaine, and with very little sleep, Whitaker arrives to pilot a plane to Atlanta. After navigating through severe turbulence, Whitaker mixes vodka into his orange juice and eventually takes a nap. He is abruptly awaken by the plane's malfunction, which causes it to take a seemingly inescapable nose dive. However, Whitaker is able to maneuver the plane with limited damage and casualties. But, his substance abuse problem throws Whitaker into a battle for his freedom... where his worse enemy is himself.

Flight is an amazing drama. It concurrently introduces two troubled characters: Whip and Nicole. After the crash, Whip and Nicole's paths interlink causing them to develop a relationship. However, Whip's constant drinking is a problem. At a certain point, Whip tells Nicole about his problem and how he understands it because he is the cause - he chooses to drink, he doesn't blame anyone but himself. On the other hand, Nicole strives for improvement, so you can guess the potential issues that may arise. Now, Whip's life is one of abuse, abandonment, and dependency. How will he win a court battle when his biggest enemy is himself? A self-destructive man that understands his problem, but hasn't taken responsibility. It's a story of an unbelievable event as much as it is a story of alcoholism and the troubles that surround it.

I love how this film focuses on story as much as it focuses on character. What I mean is: it focuses on the catastrophic, unbelievable event and the legal aspects of it as much as it develops a self-destructive, substance abusing character. Some of the characteristics were a bit stereotypical, or cliché, I suppose; however, I believe this is as authentic as it can get, and that's a compliment. The film begins with a suspenseful - scratch that - absolutely breathtaking, perfectly executed plane crash. This is a high-caliber action sequence, the only sequence like it in the film. However, the film keeps its suspenseful, action-like momentum through its magnificently captivating dialogue; the discussion, the arguments flow so well and authentically.

The acting in this film is fantastic. Denzel Washington delivers a triumphant performance as Captain Whitaker; an authentic portrayal of a struggling alcoholic battling himself and the world around him. His dialogue, his facial expressions, and his movements are incredibly authentic and consistent. Don Cheadle and John Goodman are also standouts with their great performances. In fact, the entire cast did a splendid job. The music is great, blending an original soundtrack and some hit singles. Also, the film is shot beatifully. The direction and editing is very tight and consistent, as well; a fantastic job from director Robert Zemeckis, I hope to see more live-action films from him.

Overall, Flight is an incredibly captivating drama - a thoroughly entertaining film from beginning to end. Flight effortlessly glides above most films in the drama thanks to spectacular performance from Denzel Washington and a brilliant script. I highly recommend Flight.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Excessive drug and alcohol abuse, full female nudity.

1 comment:

  1. The acting was great, the directing was well done, the characters are likable in their own way, the character study aspect is really compelling and despite the movie being a little slow in the middle, and I really liked this movie. Didn’t love, but really liked. Good review Jonathan.