11 February 2015 | mattgammon-97-695445
With Flight, director Robert Zemeckis has made a solid, unshowy character drama, the kind of film cinema-goers of a certain age will tell you the studios don't really make any more. It reminds me a little of an Eastwood movie - specifically, with Eastwood in his capacity as a film director, that is. It's a sober piece about a man's moral choices, built around a creditable central performance from Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker – an alcoholic pilot who, still drunk and high from the night before, manages to land his airplane after a mechanical failure sends it into a 4,800 ft dive. The crash itself is amazing; a 10- minute nose dive, with Zemeckis barely moving his camera out of the cockpit. Whitaker emerges a hero – "you're a rock star" – before he is called to account. "Death demands responsibility," Don Cheadle's lawyer explains. "Six people died. Someone is to blame." Flight is essentially a study an intelligent man living in denial. The film revolves entirely around Washington: sweaty, puffy, slow- eyed when down, very much The Man when the booze and the coke kick in. Zemeckis – who hasn't directed a live action film since 2000's Cast Away – shoots the film as straight as possible. But that's not to say it's without wit. There are artfully handled moral ambiguities here: could Whitaker have saved that plane if he hadn't been blasted on vodka and cocaine?
This movie was a blast to work on. I was a stunt double and had a great time on set. I love the final product.