Review – Flight

Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker in Flight
Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker in Flight

It was about 10 minutes into the film that it happened.

I’d seen from the trailers what was basically going to happen, but what I witnessed and consequently felt, I hadn’t prepared for.

I could swear I’d held my breath for the entire period of the event and when it had finished I uncoiled myself from the scrunched-up position I found I had adopted in my seat.

Suffice to say that Captain Whip Whitaker, played by the consistently high-performing Denzel Washington, had made an incredible controlled crash-landing of an airliner from what seemed an unrecoverable and terminal catastrophic failure.

In doing so he had saved many lives and in the public eye he was a hero.

However, to the associated authorities whose job it was to investigate the cause of the crash, there was a lot more than met the eye.

Whitaker is an alcoholic and a drug user and as is sadly so commonly found with these types of self-abuse, he is in complete denial.

Denzel Washington does a superb job of demonstrating these afflictions; trying to maintain composure and assuring those around him that he is in control, when of course he isn’t.

His close friend Harling Mays, played very well by John Goodman, initially offers him the usual drink and drug cushioned shoulder to lean on while he recovers from the crash and actually brings a perfectly weighted lighter-hearted, comical element to the film.

While in hospital, Whitaker meets another patient, Nicole, played by Kelly Reilly.

Her path of abuse has caused their roads to cross and her supporting role is excellently executed under the direction of Robert Zemecki,s who proves once again he makes high quality movies.

As the investigation progresses, Whitaker drives his legal team towards exasperation as their efforts seem futile against the demons that haunt him.

In what seems like a final nail-in-the-coffin event an unlikely source of hope is found.

Does this source prove successful? Does Whitaker overcome his barriers and find salvation?

The only way to find out and I suggest you do, is to go and see for yourself.

Washington produces a master class once more and I’d recommend you see this on the big screen while you still can, if only for that incredible first act.

Ladies and Gentlemen, take your seats and fasten your seatbelts.