‘Flight,’ Starring Fordham Alum, in Review

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By JOHN BONAZZO

COPY EDITOR

Made with the perfect mix of drama, suspense, and comedy, and featuring a great lead performance, Flight is a must-see!

The film focuses on Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington, Unstoppable), a pilot fighting deep, personal demons.  His struggles come to a head one day when he saves his plane from crashing in what many call a miraculous rescue. The circumstances of Whip’s heroic act come into question, however, when it is discovered that he had a high level of alcohol in his blood when the act was performed. A lawyer (Don Cheadle, The Guard) and a representative from the pilots’ union (Bruce Greenwood, Super 8) come to his defense, but throughout all of the legal maneuvering it is unclear how Whip himself feels about the situation. Whip also starts a romance with a fellow hospital patient (Kelly Reilly, Sherlock Holmes) during his recuperation, but even this is colored by the issues of the case.

Denzel Washington gives a great performance in the film. He puts all of Whip’s character flaws on the surface so that the audience can see that Whip is an imperfect man. Reilly, Cheadle and Greenwood all do great work in supporting roles. John Goodman (Trouble with the Curve) provides some much-needed comic relief as Whip’s friend and sometime enabler. Director Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away) guides the film with a sure hand and a clear vision. Screenwriter John Gatins (Real Steel) builds up the suspense in the plot masterfully; the audience is kept guessing up until the very end.

The use of special effects in this film is fantastic as well- the plane crash sequence is one of the most visceral, unnerving things I have ever seen in a movie theater.

From start to finish, Flight is an absorbing, dramatic ride. Thanks to Denzel Washington’s excellent performance and a smart script, Flight soars!