Thursday, February 6, 2014

Flight (2012)

Director Robert Zemeckis is back in (live) action after doing three CGI/Motion capture movies. I wouldn't have expected Zemeckis to do a hard hitting drama like this one (though to be fair I haven't seen his other most recent live action films Cast Away and What Lies Beneath) but he did a great job. Flight and writer John Gatins received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Gatins has done some acting and also has a writing credit on Real Steel, which I will write about later.
Flight is about a brilliant airline pilot, Whip Whitaker, who is also an alcoholic. One day he gets drunk and uses cocaine before flying a plane. The plane encounters turbulence and has mechanical problems but Whip manages to crash land the plane with very few casualties. However, a blood test reveals that Whip was intoxicated at the time, which he denies, and an investigation begins.
The acting is great all around starting with our leading man, Denzel Washington, who received a well deserved Oscar nomination for his performance. John Goodman is hilarious as Harling Mays, Whip's old friend and drug dealer. Flight was surprisingly funny as Goodman stole every scene he was in and there was a humorous scene about a porno version of Othello. Don't be fooled though, this is an intense film about addiction and those scenes, though funny, didn't feel out of place.
Kelly Reilly, Don Cheadle, and Bruce Greenwood and are solid in supporting roles. Some scenes in Flight, such as one in a hospital stairwell, felt out of a stage play which is a tribute to the great acting.
Flight does run a little long and the ending could've been better as it's too on the nose. A shorter, less obvious moment between father and son would've sufficed. It was nice to see Robert Zemeckis come back to the world of live action film making and I look forward to whatever he has in store next.

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