(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
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.
Following the demands of the Sony hackers, the Seth Rogen and James Franco political satire 'The Interview' has been shelved in its home market of America.
The London Film Critics' Circle has announced the nominations for its 35th annual awards ceremony, with Mike Leigh's historical biopic Mr Turner leading the way with seven nominations, including Film of the Year and British Film of the Year.
The massive hack on film studio sony Pictures has become a media firestorm with a wealth of sensitive information being leaked by hacking group Guardians of Peace. Here's the rundown of events:
Double Oscar winner Sean Penn hasn't been known to close in the most commercial of film projects, but as he's reached his fifties the 'Mystic River' and 'Milk' star appears to have had a change of heart.
The Golden Globe nominations have been announced and âBirdmanâ âBoyhoodâ and âImitation Gameâ are leading the pack while some heavy hitters found themselves snubbed: 'Interstellar' settled for just a music nomination for Hans Zimmer's score and Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' got nothing, as did Clint Eastwood's war drama 'American Sniper' starring a snubbed Bradley Cooper.
The hackers that struck Sony Pictures and revealed star salaries as well as leaking screener copies of some of their films onto torrent websites have taunted the studio again.
'The Fighter' star Mark Wahlberg is seeking redemption - he's just filed for a pardon over a crime he was convicted of back in 1988.
'Skyfall' director Sam Mendes took to the Pinewood Studios stage to formally announce the particulars of the forthcoming James Bond movie. The Oscar winner revealed that 007's 24th adventure would be titled 'Spectre'.
Amateur boxer turned pin-up actor turned pro boxer turned Oscar nominated actor turned pro boxer again Mickey Rourke scored a professional boxing match win at the age of 62 last week, but some sources now claim the two round fight was rigged.
One of the earliest to announce their film picks in the awards season, the Independent Spirit Awards have revealed their nominations with director Alejandro G. Inarritu's 'Birdman' leading the way with six noms.
Mike Nichols, the visionary director who won an Oscar for one of the most definitive pictures of the 1960s - 'The Graduate' - and was nominated for a further four, has died aged 83.