(Robert Zemeckis, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Robert Zemeckis' return to live action filmmaking is a masterclass with standout action and drama headlined by an Oscar worthy Denzel Washington.
Oscar winning filmmaker spent the last decade solely in CGI and motion capture, directing the likes of 'The Polar Express', 'Beowulf' and 'A Christmas Carol' - three films that had the drive of his earlier works 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'Back to the Future' but lacked the dramatic resonance of his Tom Hanks classics 'Castaway' and 'Forrest Gump'. With 'Flight', we are reminded just why he's such a talent.
Denzel Washington is on Oscar nominated form as Whip Whitaker, a functioning alcholic and coke addict who just about holds it together enough to pilot passenger jets. As he boards the plane he's still drunk, but Zemeckis makes that fact the least of the pilot and the audience's worries as he builds layer upon layer of suspense to finally create one of film's most terrifying air crashes (even better than his own one in 'Castaway').
It's no secret that Whitaker's actions save the flight from certain catastophy. The real juice of the story comes after this initial half an hour. While some viewers may see the the resulting drama as lesser fare compared to the nailbiting opening, this is where John Gatins' Oscar nominated script really takes off.
'Flight' makes an interesting case that Whitaker saved the passengers because he was drunk and numbed away from panic. He's a mess when he's sober, but razor sharp when he's wired. The film also examines what makes a hero as well the public's addiction for clinging on to one to a point whereby they have to know everything about him.
Then the film adds another layer whereby the airline is investigated, prompting Whitaker to try and cover his tracks to save his career, reputation and deeper secrets. It's this segment that gives Washington a real chance to shine ala Ray Milland in 'The Lost Weekend', putting in one of cinema's greatest drunk acts.
As the narrative progresses, the line between hero and villain blurs. But this isn't just an aviation thriller or an addiction drama. Really, it's a film about identity. A pilot is a label, a job title, not a man of character traits. At what point should his wings be clipped? When should he take his head out of the clouds? 'Flight' is a film that examines mechanics of emotions. When it hits, it really soars.
Check out the trailer for 'Flight' HERE at Cinemas Online
Other film news
Leonard Nimoy, best known for acting as Dr Spock on 'Star Trek' and directing films such as 'Three Men and a Little Baby', died on Friday in California following a long battle with a pulmonary disease. He was 83.
'Birdman' was the big winner at this year's Oscars, taking home three of the major wins: Best Picture, Best Director and Best (Original) Screenplay. It meant that writer, director and producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu walked away with three Oscars on the same night. The quirky film about actors also scooped Best Cinematography.
Following the roaring successes of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons', the character of Robert Langdon is returning to the big screen with Tom Hanks dusting off the hair straighteners once again for the lead role and Oscar winning director Ron Howard back in charge of the production.
Oscar nominated 'Imitation Game' star Benedict Cumberbatch married on Valentine's Day, it has now been revealed.
The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.
The BAFTAs have been awarded and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' led the way after the quirky comedy racked up an incredible five gongs with 'Boyhood', 'The Theory of Everything' and 'Whiplash' following up with three a piece. 'Boyhood' scooped three of the biggest with Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress going to Richard Linklater's 12 year labour of love.
'Fifty Shades of Grey', undoubtedly the most high profile erotic film drama of the year, has been given the seal of approval from the UK film censor board arriving fully uncut with an 18 certificate.
Actor Chris O'Dowd and his journalist and TV presenter wife Dawn O'Porter have announced the birth of their child but went against the usual conventions of gushing and posting typical photos.
A tragic accident on the set of Martin Scorsese's new film 'Silence' has left one man dead and two more (all in their 50s) injured.
The Oscar winning actor's easy-going persona evident over decades of film performances and chilled out concerts has won the Dude legions of abiders but now he's taken his trademark chilled out nature to a whole new level - he's recording an album of sleeping tapes to 'help you get a good night's rest'.
The female-led reboot of 'Ghostbusters' is now well underway with the four lead stars being revealed by director Paul Feig.
One of the biggest bits of casting news in the last few months was Tom Hardy's involvement in David Ayer's 'Suicide Squad' - the forthcoming superhero picture also starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne and 'The Wolf of Wall Street' breakout starlet Margot Robbie.
Another year, another set of Oscar nominations and another round of gasps of both joy and shock as the toast of Hollywood is picked by their peers. Leading the pack are two critical darlings each with nine nominations: Wes Anderson's wonderful dramedy 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and the genre-bending breakthrough 'Birdman'. 'The Imitation Game' followed closely with eight including a surprise Best Director nod.
Despite a storied career in stand-up, music and film, Woody Allen has seldom ventured into the world of television, but that's all about to change for the 'Midnight in Paris' Oscar winner.
The Golden Globes once again spread out the awards and also threw in a few surprises this year.
The British Academy Film Award nominations have been released and they are not without their controversial choices.
According to a survey by Fandango, the new 'Star Wars' reboot 'The Force Awakens' is the most anticipated film of 2015.
Chris Pine has admitted that that his headlining take on the latest incarnation of the espionage franchise 'Jack Ryan' failed and has probably killed his chances of getting a sequel to the film.
'Exodus: Gods and Kings' has been banned in Egypt, it has been confirmed.
The recent leaks of Sony's email database are continuing to flow as more information comes to light, the latest being that studio chairman Amy Pascal is keen to see Daniel Craig's James Bond be replaced by Idris Elba.