December 17, 2014
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Flight
Don Fowler
3.5 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Alcoholic pilot makes emergency landing)

If this were a true story, the headline would read Alcoholic Pilot Makes Emergency Landing. 6 Die; 96 Saved.

There is no "Based on a True Story" here, so we will have to give the writers credit for an interesting insight into an alcoholic, along with some very tense moments when he lands his crippled plane.

"Flight" is an interesting movie, even if it is a bit of a downer and centers around a troubled man who drinks too much, especially when he has human lives under his control.

Denzel Washington is great as “Whip” Whitaker, a man carrying more baggage around with him than would fit in the overhead bins. He drinks and takes drugs and was under the influence when the plane had a mechanical failure and he brought it down, saving most of the passengers and crew.

While he was in complete control of his plane, he could not control his drinking, going on a binge one day, and pouring all the liquor down the drain another day. You want to sympathize with Whip, but it is difficult to do so.

The NTSB investigates, as his lawyer and best friend work to exonerate him. But Whip is his own worse enemy, coming apart at the seams as the pressure builds.

There is a side story involving a junkie who Whip tries to save (Kelly Reilly), making an interesting comparison between the two opposites. John Goodman has a small role as Whip's drug dealer, and Don Cheadle is great as the lawyer. Trinity's Peter Gerety has a few minutes on the screen as the airline head.

We won't tell you how it all turns out, except to say that not all movie heroes live happily ever after.

Rated R, with profanity, sex, nudity and some very intense moments. We don't think you will see this one on your next flight.


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