MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By Paramount Pictures
Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle.
Whip Whitaker (Washington) is a commercial air pilot whose life is in a tailspin. He is an out of control alcoholic, separated from his family, who is not above spending the night before a scheduled flight in a hotel room with a stewardess, drinking to excess and then snorting cocaine to get high enough to make it onto the plane. After initially upsetting his co-pilot (Brian Geraghty) with his erratic behavior, Whip manages to do something amazing: When the airplane malfunctions and seems destined to crash, killing everyone on board, he maneuvers the plane into an emergency landing in which only a few souls are lost.
Every crash requires an investigation. Whip is assured by those in power that he will be defended against any allegations that he might have been in no condition to fly the aircraft that morning. He is told by his superiors to lay low and stay out of the public eye of the media. Soon he begins a relationship with a junkie (Kelly Reilly) he met while recovering from the crash in the hospital, who is struggling with her own bad habits.
Denzel Washington manages to make us care for his damaged and self-centered character in another fine performance that is the center of a consistently interesting and intriguing film.
Flight is a film that not only deals with the possibilities for redemption, but with the devastating effects of tragic situations and God’s presence or absence in the midst of them. Heroes break down; broken people do heroic things. God is praised and cursed. Hope is often beyond our immediate sight. There are some lofty themes in this movie.
Flight is profane as well as spiritual, and not everyone will care for its cast of ethically dubious characters, their bad conduct and crude talk. If you can handle the R rated content, the film will leave you at a good and thoughtful place. Like the airplane flight in its first chapter, this film takes you through some turbulence before arriving at its final destination.
Three halos: A character study that is also a morality play, about a damaged person who unexpectedly does something great.
Three pitchforks: Much swearing and some rough opening scenes that feature nudity, drinking, pornographic filmmaking, and recreational drug use; much lying and deception all around.
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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