Denzel Washington stars in the character study of an airline pilot whose heroic actions save the lives of an entire commercial flight of passengers, but when his history with alcohol and drug abuse sees the light of day new questions begin to be asked about that fateful day.
The screenplay by John Gatins is pretty straightforward. Washington’s Whip Whitacker is your basic hero with feet of clay who is unwilling and unable to admit or address his own demons. As such there are really only two possible outcomes to the film. Either Whitacker will get away with flying drunk the day of the crash or he’ll finally admit his problem with alcohol and drugs.
Robert Zemeckis gets the best out of his actors, paticularly Washington and Kelly Reilly as a recovering heroin user who tries to help Whip get and stay clean, but the themes of the film often feel too simplistic and it’s all too easy to see where Whip’s journey will eventually end.
Flight is a solid, if not very original, tale filled with some strong performances (and John Goodman hamming it up to an absurd extent). Washington’s performance was enough to earn him another Academy Award nomination, and is worth checking out on video. I just wish the rest of the film was as good as its leading man.
The Blu-ray of the film includes DVD and Ultraviolet copies of the film, two featurettes on the writing and making of the film, a look at the movie’s plane crash, and a short Q&A with the film’s cast and crew.
[Paramount, Blu-ray $39.99 / DVD $29.99]