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Flight (2012)

Crashing and Burning. Oh ya, and a plane goes down.

Overall Grade: A
Story: A
Acting: A+
Direction: A+
Visuals: A


Summary: Denzel Washington is the everyman, superhero and legend that we all look up to. Except now. Flight is a brilliant detour of character for one of the best actors of our generation. In a film that looks like no airline movie you've ever seen, Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington both have their careers and modus operandi take a sharp turn from the past. Heroic and tragic, this very serious film about serious issues may be one of the top 3 movies of the year. An absolute must-see. NOTE: it is important for people read my rating caution at the bottom of this review.

Full Review: We've had nearly 100 years of commercial air flight in the modern world. And there has been some powerful and poignant issues to have been played out on the silver screen using the backdrop of an airplane. Flight is a new movie that takes hold of four topics in that sphere and plays them closely together in a deceptively simple plot. The idolization of pilots, the fear of crashing, the power of government regulators and investigators, and substance abuse are spun into a riveting yarn. Centered around pilot Whip Whitaker, who's rags to riches to addiction story unhinges the audience from loving the central character, this may be one of the best airplane movies ever.

Whitaker (played by Denzel Washington) is an airline captain with uncanny abilities. He grew up, mentored by his crop-dusting pilot father and doating grandfather, to be an expert Navy pilot. He made the dream of flying for a big commercial airline and successfully managed years of untinged record. Yet his family life was dismal. Divorced and bitter over the loss of relationship with his only child, Whitaker drinks and abuses drugs to prop his life up and keep him "flying straight".

[Mini-spoiler- the follow paragraph reveals some of the plot that is important in the story. It doesn't give away the outcome, but we wanted to warn you that it reveals a significant point of the plot]. When tragedy strikes and the plane he is piloting crashes, his amazing piloting abilities save most of the passengers and he is initially hailed as a hero. But toxicology records threaten to reveal his secret life and thus begins a descent into the hell of Whip Whitaker.

This movie is excellent. Denzel's performance alone is worth the price of the ticket. There is one small blip in the storyline that seemed slightly contrived, and left me from giving it my highest ranking (A+), but the direction and acting are so good you will not be disappointed.

That said, this movie is very intense in its treatment of drugs, alcohol and language. While I personally believe it could be a very poignant story, I understand the graphic representation of these topics in a film might be very offensive to some. I am warning you of this now- buckle up and sit down, or don't get on this plane. There will be turbulence- violent turbulence.

RATING CAUTION: For parents, this movie should be reserved for children that are actually 17 and over. With full frontal nudity, drug/alcohol usage and excessive swearing in parts, the movie rating is apt at MPAA "R" rating. I am highlighting this rating because it stretches the limit of what many people will be comfortable with seeing in a film. Overt and repeated drug & alcohol use, and an opening scene of nudity. You should know this going into the film.


Amazon DVD Link:


Review by Kim Gentes

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