Movie Review: Flight (+trailer)

By Craig Nicholson

There must be something about disaster films that act like a magnet for Denzel Washington.

Although trains - Unstoppable (2010) and The Taking of Pelman 1 2 3 (2009) - are his usual tour de force, he obviously doesn't mind a good plane crash.

And although the drama of a plane crash is pivotal, the storyline is more about Whip Whitaker (Washington) and his battle with his own demons.

Whip is a veteran pilot with all the skills needed to be outstanding at his job.

But though he knows what to do in an emergency, the question is whether his physical state will allow him to do it.

Whip's problem is that the path life has taken him on has been closely tied to the bottle.

Divorced and estranged from his teenage son, he seeks solace in the arms of beautiful young air hostesses and alcohol. Adding to his issues is his penchant for drugs. When Whip puts himself in the pilot's seat and a fierce storm lies ahead, the potential for disaster is huge.

Still drunk and high on cocaine, Whip is impaired.

Somehow, when the plane has a mechanical failure, he manages to pull off an extraordinary manoeuvre to land the plane on a field with the loss of only six lives.

Initially a hero, the investigation into the crash uncovers his physical state and the bulk of the movie deals with his journey to realisation about his problem.

What is beyond question is that Whip saved lives that day.

But he must deal with his own demons if he wants to stay out of prison.

As Whip, Washington turns in another outstanding performance and is a standout in a strong and eclectic cast.


(R16) 139 minutes

Rating: 3.5 / 5


- Hamilton News

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