Summary: In this action-packed mystery thriller, Academy Award® winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot, who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane?
Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st January, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenwriter: John Gatins
Cast: Michael Beasley (Officer Edmonds), Garcelle Beauvais (Deana), Ron Caldwell (Trevor), Don Cheadle (Hugh Lang), Dane Davenport (Derek Hogue), Brian Geraghty (Ken Evans), Peter Gerety (Avington Carr), John Goodman (Harling Mays), Bruce Greenwood (Charlie Anderson), Rhoda Griffis (Amanda Anderson), Tommy Kane (Mark Mellon), Ravi Kapoor (Dr. Kenan), Melissa Leo (Ellen Block), Bethany Ann Lind (Sheila), Justin Martin (Will), E. Roger Mitchell (Craig Matson), Piers Morgan (himself), Tom Nowicki (Len Caldwell), Conor O’Neill (Kip), Kelly Reilly (Nicole), Will Sherrod (Schecter), Gregory Marshall Smith (Greg), Jim Tilmon (himself), Adam Tomei (Fran), Tamara Tunie (Margaret Thomason), Nadine Velazquez (Katerina Marquez), Shannon Walshe (Tilda Banden), Denzel Washington (Whip Whitaker), Darius Woods (Young Will), Boni Yanagisawa (Camelia Satou)
Runtime: 139 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Flight’ Review:
Look no further ‘Flight’ is the best disaster film that you are ever likely to see. Director Robert Zemeckis breaks his string of animation films (that have included ‘Polar Express’, ‘Beowulf’ and ‘A Christmal Carol’) with ‘Flight’, a film that centres more on its flawed hero rather than the actual disaster at hand.
The hero that Robert Zemeckis decides to concentrate on is long-time pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington – Safe House, Unstoppable) a drug-taking alcoholic who after a rough night on the substances with air-hostess Katerina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez – TV’S The League, TV’S Hart Of Dixie) ends up boarding a ill-fated jet-liner that literally breaks-up in mid-air. Despite being well under the weather Whip works frantically with his flight crew, Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty – Ass Backwards, Refuge) and Margaret Thompson (Tamara Tunie – Missed Connections, TV’S Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit) to miraculously ‘crash’ the plane in such a way that they have minimal deaths.
While the media at first labels Whip as a hero (until they start to wonder why he isn’t allowed to talk to them), behind the scenes things are very different indeed. At first it seems that Whip union representative Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood – The Place Beyond The Pines, TV’S Young Justice) is going to help him but soon Anderson realizes that this is going to turn into a defence case when it is discovered that Whip had both cocaine and alcohol in his system.
Anderson brings in lawyer, Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle – Captain Planet 3, TV’S House Of Lies) to defend Whip as he heads into an investigation led by the experienced Ellen Bock (Melissa Leo – Dwegons, The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman). But while Lang and Anderson try to help Whip clean up his life before the hearing he heads into a dangerous relationship with recovering addict Nicole (Kelly Reilly – Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, TV’S Above Suspicion: Silent Scream) while drug dealer and close friend Harling Mays (John Goodman – Trouble With Curve, ParaNorman) is always lurking in the shadows.
Robert Zemeckis seems to break every rule of your typical ‘disaster’ movie. Firstly, the hero here is also the anti-hero, the audience is introduced to him in a scene that consists of full frontal nudity and drug use, he’s not your squeaky clean hero but such is the power of the script by John Gatins (Real Steel, Dreamer) no matter how dirty Whip’s life is you can’t help but want to see him come out of this hearing unscathed.
The second rule that Zemeckis breaks is that the film itself focuses around the hero rather than the disaster. The plane crash scene is nothing compared to the one in ‘Final Destination’ but that won’t let you disappointed because Zemeckis and Gatins get suspense out of this films in other ways – ways that include the audience wondering whether Whip will be able to clean up his life before the hearing and then the actual suspense as you wait for Whip’s all important answer during the hearing.
Adding to the power of ‘Flight’ is the terrific acting performances of its main cast. Denzel Washington really laps up getting the chance to play a somewhat unlikable character while Don Cheadle and Kelly Reilly are more than serviceable in their roles. John Goodman also backs up his recent good performances with a role that sees him mix comedy and drama together brilliantly.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Flight′: Check Episode #18 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Flight’. Dave’s other review of ‘Flight’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel