In all my years as an avid movie-goer, I dont think I have ever seen a movie with better airplane special effects than the movie “Flight”, starring Denzel Washington, released in 2012. This movie, and specifically this one scene when the pilot Whip Whitaker, played by Washington – is not for those who fear flying. After a major part failure on the plane, Whitaker had to make the airplane turn completely over on its back, to prevent a straight into the ground crash. This scene was amazing with both the special effects, and Washington’s expert-calm-acting where he prevented the crash, but not without 6 people dying out of the 106 onboard.
The real story of Flight is about alcoholism and drug abuse. It turns out that Whitaker is a very serious drug addict, who is very good at hiding his problem, for many years. Despite his brilliant flying to prevent a horrendous tragedy, the toxicology report showed that he had cocaine and a very high alcohol level in his system after the accident. After the accident this story is all about a massive coverup to kill the toxicology report and save Whitaker from a very long prison term that may even include life in prison. The point here is, it doesn’t matter that the pilot saved 100 lives, all that matters is that he was operating an Airline Jet while drunk. This movie might have been based on recent true stories about pilots who were flying under the influence that came out within a few years of the release of this film.
Flight is one of Denzel Washington’s best movie roles and performances, along with Don Cheadle who is Whitaker’s lawyer who will do anything to keep him out of prison, John Goodman who almost steals the movie as Whitaker’s drug hookup and Bruce Greenwood as Whitaker’s friend. All of the performances were outstanding in this very memorable film. The direction of Robert Zemeckis was also great.
There are many messages in this story, but for me the most important one is, when you are addict you never think you are addicted and you will continue to use, even if it might mean that as a result of your drinking and drug abuse you might kill many people even if you are an airline pilot.
Once again, the critics back in 2012 were wrong, this is not a 77% movie, its more in the 90% range and I highly recommend it.