I’ve never been on a plane, so any movie about plane crashes increases the amount of time I will remain flightless. Yes I know, I know, flying is the safest form of public transport and movies exaggerate loads. But that’s off-topic really. As is mu lack of drug-use, what with me being T-Total and all, and the closest I’ve ever come to a joint is at a party (and yes, you can get high just from the fumes. Trust me).
Denzel Washington’s new movie ‘Flight’ does cover all of these themes. He plays Whip Whitaker, a pilot with a serious alcohol and drug abuse habit. In the first few minutes of the movie, Whip us seen waking up, downing a beer and snorting cocaine to get himself going before a 9am flight.
On the flight, Whip is surrounded by his crew, some of which are friends, like Katerina (who he’s just spend the night with) and Margaret, who’s known him for 11 years; others however are new faces, like that of co-pilot Ken Evans. After a coffee and some aspirin, Whip and Ken take off in adverse weather, with wind and rain lashing at the plain. It is immediately clear that Ken questions Whip’s abilities when he has trouble following his instructions to get them out of the clouds while the plains shudders and drops through air holes.
Later, a noise forebodes badly as Whip and Ken have to fight their plane plunging nose down towards the ground and Whip has to turn it upside down to regain level and control while all engines fail. After a crash landing in a field, 6 people have died, but Whip is hailed as a hero for saving most of his passengers.
As the investigation about the crash progresses, the truth behind Whip’s lifestyle risks being revealed and we see him fighting with himself and his demons about whether he needs held or not.
The crash scenes are impressive and had me gripping the edge of my seat. And while both my flatmates declared feeling bored during most of the movie, I felt for Whip, his problems and especially his inability to realise what was wrong with him.
A great role for Denzel Washington, whom we know more often as the nice guy, the normal guy. Very little has he played ‘baddies’. I recommend it to all his fans.
Pictures from: lmcexperience.com, reelfilmnews.com, thefilmbeast.com, apple.com, badassdigest.com