Review: ‘Flight’ features standout performance by WashingtonWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
The opening scenes of “Flight” — fittingly or not — take place at American Value Suites.
Captain Whip Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington in one of his best performances, is not the pillar of morality his wings pin may imply.He has addictions, especially to alcohol, and until he hits rock bottom his life continues to spiral out of control like the SouthJet Flight 227 that he harrowingly saves from destruction.
Most of the action of “Flight” takes place in the stunning and scary plane scenes in the first part of the movie.
But this movie by Robert Zemeckis, his first live action film since 2000′s “Cast Away,” is more of a character study than the action thriller that the trailer teases. And that’s not a bad thing.Washington makes this movie move and turn. He portrays a broken man whose life is changed — for better and worse — by the plane crash. Even then, it takes most of the 138-minute runtime for him to stop lying to himself and admit he has a problem.
His journey is tough to watch. And some will be able to understand and relate to his struggle.
Pilots are typically held to a higher standard and are given the public’s trust. Captain Whitaker betrays this trust. The movie could have better explored this theme.
While not the most compelling or heart-rending of his movies, director Zemeckis shows he still knows how to make a good movie.
“Flight” also includes some well done supporting acting by John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood and Don Cheadle.
Hold on to your seats during the first 30 minutes of the movie for some thrilling scenes and then settle in for an exploration of a man struggling with life as an addict.
Rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence.
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Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com. Watch him discuss movies on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. on Fridays. Also, listen to James discuss movies on “Eye on Your Weekend” on 1370 WSPD every Friday at 6 p.m.