19 November 2012 | Bob_the_Hobo
An Emotional Tailspin
Denzel Washington is William "Whip" Whitaker, an alcoholic pilot who, after a night of heavy drinking, remains drunk well into the morning he is to fly a plane into Georgia. When his flight goes into a sudden tail- spin, Whip manages to save all but six lives through his crash-landing. Whip is a hero until his toxicology report comes up positive for everything under the sun, leaving the airline, Whip's union, his friends, and Whip in a tailspin of their own.
I have often thought that Denzel Washington is one of the finest actors to ever grace the silver screen, and he proves that assertion with a film that is assured to receive him a sixth Academy Award nomination. Here is a man broken beyond measure, stumbling through his lost life until unprecedented new stress is placed upon him. Not even the intervention of those he holds close can stop his self-destructive nature - or can it?
Robert Zemeckis has been on a sturdy path with animated films recently, so it was with a bit of apprehension that I saw his most recent live- action offering since "Cast Away". But have no fear. The direction here is clean, crisp, and efficient as ever, producing a simple, but powerful script by John Gatins, chock-full of par-none supporting roles by the likes of John Goodman, Don Cheadle, and Bruce Greenwood.
Undoubtedly the best part of the film - besides the wonderful cast - was the soundtrack. Joe Cocker, Bill Withers, and more are used expertly to mold into every emotion, sometimes emotional roller coaster, Whip experiences. Each song (some used more than once) slips seamlessly into the background and keeps the audience following more than the script.
"Flight" is a powerful, dark, character study about a man who has fallen to his darkest depths, and finds out how to fall farther. It sees Denzel Washington in top form and Robert Zemeckis' triumphant return to the live screen.