Yes, this film is about a flight and no it is nothing like, 'Snakes on a Plane' (thankfully). Director Robert Zemeckis know for 'Forest Gump' (1994) and 'Back the the Future' (1985) teams up with writer John Gatins again to give us a screenplay about a pilot who is struggling with alcoholism, drug use and anger issues - you name it, this pilot's got it. Normal day, normal hotel room except the man who is in charge of 102 souls on the next plane has been up all night with an air hostess, drinking and snorting coke - I'm no pilot myself but I hope the pilot in charge of the next plane I catch wasn't doing the latter the night before!
Despite the above, Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washingston) looks fit to fly after a few vodkas on board to get his head straight (bad move). Anyway after all that, there are some extreme weather conditions and a malfunctioning plane that cause Whip to have to crash land in a field to save everyone on board and he does a pretty good job of it to becoming a sort of local hero - until the drink gets the better of him. Of course even though he landed the plane miraculously and his buddies on the inside killed his toxicity report, there was still the mystery of the vodka bottles being empty when drinks were suspended on that particular flight. This is a compelling tale of a man in completely the wrong place at the wrong time of his life. He seems like he is pretty together but then we see how really bad it can get and the seriousness of his alcohol dependency making you want to see him get clean because he is however a very likeable character. Ultimately we see him go down for driving under the influence (no kids drugs and drink don't make you a bad ass pilot), which is obviously not what you want to see happen to the man who just crash landed a plane saving 96 passengers on board. But there has to be justice right? Other than all the serious undertones of the film we have John Goodman (Harling Mays), playing Whitaker's dealer bringing laughter and quirkiness to the screen even when everything's gone to pot.
'Flight' is a drama with an in depth story accompanied by outstanding acting, proving Hollywood can still produce something other than big blockbusters. Brilliant watch and one I would recommend (not before a flight though) but do be aware of all the 'praise Jesus, he saved us' malarkey embedded within the script. This film would have still been just as powerful without such references.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
138mins 15 (2012)