Wednesday, November 7, 2012


An airline pilot (Denzel Washington) wakes up in his Orlando hotel next to a flight attendant (Nadine Valazquez) and a slew of empty beer and  mini bar bottles, and does a quick bump of coke to right himself for his quick morning jump to Atlanta. After helping himself to yet another cocktail during his in-flight address, an equipment malfunction causes the craft to nosedive, leading to a seemingly impossible crash landing which cost the lives of only six on-board  Hailed a hero by the national media, the pilot shacks up with a junkie (Kelly Reilly) he meets in the hospital and retreats to his father's country home, as the impending inquest forces him to confront his alcoholism. "Flight" is a more than welcomed return to live-action filmmaking by Robert Zemeckis (his first since "Cast Away"), who brings his keen eye to John Gatins' measured screenplay, and his special effects acumen to the opening, hair-raising, utterly authentic crash sequence. As for Mr. Washington, though he is one of our finest stars and a powerful actor, his work is often indelicate, as he usually pushes for sensationalism. In this role, one which cries for melodrama, Denzel delivers a commanding, nuanced performance, which in effect is one of the finest he's ever exhibited. Two more fine turns are offered in supporting roles by Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood, playing an attorney and airline union representative, respectively, who are both trying to see Washington's character through the inquest. The film's only flaw is in Reilly's character whose addict with a heart of gold brings nothing to the story (saving one touching seen of magnanimity), except length to the considerable running time. "Flight" showcases two old pros at the top of their form, and tells a worthy, honest tale of self-realization.