Denzel Washington stars as a pilot battling addiction Discuss this article
Few things are worse than being jolted awake by a plane dropping into an uncontrollable nosedive – especially if you’re hotshot airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) and have been sleeping off some illegal indulgence in the cockpit at 33,000 feet. Whitaker pulls a last-minute manoeuvre, turning the jet upside down to slow the descent, managing a crash-landing with minimal casualties. He’s declared a public hero. Yet it soon becomes apparent that, miracle move or not, Whitaker’s relationship with substances goes a little beyond the occasional indulgence.
Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis has always had a knack for staging white-knuckle set pieces involving free-falling aircrafts, and the disaster that launches this drama is a doozy. However Flight is not really about flying; this is a story of the self-destructive lengths people will go to in order to save their soul.
Despite Washington going the full nine yards ugly-wise, there’s little to distinguish this from other entries in the ‘cinema of addiction’ genre. Flight doesn’t quite soar past its narrative limitations. There’s plenty of virtuosity to go around here, just precious little transcendence.By David Fear
Time Out Doha,