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Flight Blu-Ray Review

by Dan Bullock

FLIGHT_1DISC_BD_RETAIL_3DDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, John Goodman, Brian Geraghty

Certificate: 15

Extras: Origins of Flight, The Making of Flight, Anatomy of a Plane Crash, Q&A Highlights

If you’ve seen the trailer, then the premise of FLIGHT may distract you but this isn’t just about a man who flies a plane upside down, it fundamentally asks the audience to engage in a dilemma and process their feelings on addiction. In FLIGHT, Denzel Washington plays alcoholic Captain Whip Whitaker who lands a plane that’s destined to crash after a technical failure. However, the subsequent story follows the desperate downfall of Denzel intensely depicting a character with a severe problem, who doesn’t want to see or admit it.

Written by John Gatins (REAL STEEL), FLIGHT tackles a whole new angle on addiction and self-destruction because the twist involves an airline pilot who affectively is putting hundreds of lives in danger. However, one man’s selfish addiction raises the question that without his intoxication – would he have pulled off such a dramatic stunt? What’s interesting about such a high profile film is it doesn’t pander to perfect recovery, Denzel’s character is seriously flawed and while some mainstream films might make the leap to instant redemption, Captain Whip Whitaker is an alcoholic and there is no easy fix. While it doesn’t bare the grit of SHAME and maybe isn’t quite as clever as it likes to think, it definitely raises questions about morality and choice.

FLIGHT is also Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film since the stunning CAST AWAY from 2000, and we really have missed his directorial presence with real people, cutting into their lives and revealing the moral and the immoral traits of all. Again, this could come across as clichéd or common place but what Zemeckis succeeds with his humanitarian edge to a unique narrative because, in reality, there is no perfection.

There’s a fine accompanying cast in the shape of Brit Kelly Reilly as Nicole, who fantastically portrays an addict trying to recover alongside the destructive Whip Whitaker. There’s also a notable mention to Don Cheadle as Hugh Lang – the man trying to get Denzel’s Whitaker off the hook – who plays it level-headed, yet intelligently. In places, FLIGHT may be a little predictable but happily when it leans towards its best, FLIGHT is compelling, intense and brilliant with Zemeckis back on form in the director’s chair. Denzel also excels as his already broken world continues to collapse around him, even when his actions have saved lives and between those two, it’s unquestionably worth catching.

Four Out Of Five StarsFLIGHT is released on Blu-ray and DVD 3rd June. You can order it via this link here.

 

Denzel in the rain

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2 comments

Martin Daniel McDonagh Jan 21, 2013 - 4:54 pm

I thought Denzel had been getting a little slack of late, but he really is great in this. As is the scene-stealing John Goodman! I’m now in love with Kelly Reilly too. Great review!

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Dan Bullock Jan 21, 2013 - 8:25 pm

Thanks sir!

And yeah, he’s on top form and I agree that recently he’s dropped but the performance here is on the money, so you can see why the nomination came along as well.

I saw Argo last week and John Goodman does the same walk to a funky tune in that. ;-p

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