Film Review: Flight

Flight (2012)
starring Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman,
Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo
Watch the trailer below...
(source: Paramount)
In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award® winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane?

I saw Flight last month and was pleasantly surprised of how great this film really was. At first, I thought it was just another typical film about a pilot involved in a plane crash, but there was an interesting story along with it. It is not just a movie about a plane crash even though the film is built on the foundation of that. The movie focuses more on the life of the pilot (Denzel Washington) and his struggles to overcome his serious addiction. It doesn't hurt that Denzel Washington was the lead starring in this film. He's one of my favorite actors that always impresses me with his brilliant acting. He's one of those few very talented and versatile actors I've seen in a lot of films and he never disappoints even when he was playing a bad guy. Good guy or bad guy? He plays both convincingly and believably. He's such a brilliant and amazing character actor. He was brilliant in this film and though he played an interesting and challenging character here. He was neither a good guy nor a bad guy. He was somewhere in the middle. His character in this film was in more self-destruct than a sympathetic one. Though it makes you feel bad about his Whip Whitaker character (I was pulling for him to get better, sober up and change, and redeemed himself), but at the same time, not really as he was not helping himself change (he was for the most part, in denial and his cover-up lies were catching up on him). It was tough to see his character go through a roller coaster ride dealing with the plane crash investigation, being somewhat a reluctant hero overnight after the plane crash and landing it safely with a few unfortunate casualties, and drinking too much to the point that he couldn't bring himself to admit that he was a serious alcoholic (a drug addict and chain smoker...), who was hurting his family/loved ones and the people around him who just wanted to help him. It was like watching someone get into a train wreck (especially in the hotel scene where his character found the loaded bar in the next room...I kept thinking, OMG, no, don't do it!) or his character getting through another serious plane crush and can't do anything to help himself recover from it. Denzel really did an amazing job in this film. One of my favorite scenes was the night before his hearing how he just went bananas and drunk all the alcohol out of the mini-bar (he found in the next room, which he tried to control himself, but couldn't seem to) and in the morning when they found him drunk in the other room and they called John Goodman's character to give him his fix, lol. His supporting ensemble cast were just as amazing as he was here.

Kelly Reilly
as Nicole, a photographer/heroin drug addict/alcoholic (fortunately,  her overdose/near death experience had changed her as she sobered up, attended AA meetings for alcohol, and redeemed herself) was great here too. She went from playing the bitchy and sarcastic Caroline Bingley in Pride & Prejudice (with Keira Knightley) to Mary Watson (nee Morstan) in Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2 (with Jude Law as her husband, Dr. Watson), and this completely different role in this film as a reform drug addict/alcoholic woman named Nicole. She did a great job in her role here. She had a few great scenes with Denzel's Whip character, where they had a brief romantic relationship, and another scene in the hospital, where they first met and had encountered a cancer patient (who was interesting and witty). They had an interesting conversation in the stairwell where they, smokers, converge. Very nice scene!

The rest of the ensemble cast were great too. Great performances especially from John Goodman (who was hilarious in this film...loved the scene towards the end when they tried to grab his bag and and he yelled at them "Back off the merch, Mother&^%ker!" LOL! Also, when he called one of the security guys "Cee-lo Green," Hahaha!), Bruce Greenwood, Melissa Leo (even though she had a very small role) and Don Cheadle.

Overall, despite some of the dark moments in this film, like when he was falling down drunk and just lashing out at people, this movie was great. This film was brilliant, captivating, and thought-provoking. It realistically shows people with substance-addiction problems and smoking. Denzel Washington was superb! Kelly Reilly was great! The rest of the ensemble cast were great too! The story was very well-written and the direction was great! A must-see movie! Go see it!

My Flight Film Rating: (9.5/10; A)


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