‘Flight’ Review: Drinking and Flying

Posted in The Screening Room by - March 17, 2015

If you haven’t been able to tell, the Kulture Shocked Disaster Month has been a horrible, mind-numbing ordeal of mediocre films. The disaster film genre as a whole is nothing but a brutal manipulation of bland movie tropes that writers seem to think sell films. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s not the bad writing and nonsensical use of horrible movie cliches, but the usage of an A list actor’s name that sells films.

Despite its notation as a “disaster film” and the disastrous plane crash it contains, Flight is anything but a “disaster film”. At its core, Flight is a tale about a man’s battle with his personal demons. Captain “Whip” Whitacre battles his alcohol and drug addictions amidst a looming NTSB investigation that claims that is inebriated state is the cause of said disastrous crash that killed 6 of the 102 souls aboard his plane.

This film was actually extraordinarily hard for me to watch for a number of personal reasons. Alcoholism runs in my family, I have no problem admitting that and it’s existence in my family is something I always think about despite how much I drink. There were also some serious religious overtones, which on the whole doesn’t bother me because they add a level of depth to some of the characters that we don’t often get in the disaster movie realm.

Besides the fairly good writing by John Gatins, Flight is aided by some phenomenal performances from a very good ensemble cast. Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, and Don Cheadle were all fantastic. The way each actor completely owns their character and how they are able to interact with each other truly makes this movie a joy to watch.

As I said before, Flight is not a film about a plane crash. Flight is a film about a man’s singular journey to overcome and defeat his personal demons. Flight is a truly powerful and emotional story that is completely worth the watch. While catching some heat from the Air Line Pilots’ Association, which dismissed the film as an inaccurate portrayal of an air crew and stated in a press release following Flight‘s release, that “we all enjoy being entertained, but a thrilling tale should not be mistaken for the true story of extraordinary safety and professionalism among airline pilots.”  Flight has also made several Top 10 Lists from various critics and it is certainly one of my favorite Denzel Washington films.

Final Say: Watch It

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