With a combination of drugs, sex, alcohol, death and disaster, Flight makes for one hell of a dramatic movie.
The film follows William “Whip” Whitaker (Denzel Washington), a pilot with a penchant for living a dangerous drug and alcohol fuelled lifestyle. Without considering his incredibly important career responsibilities, he indulges in a wild night of sex and booze with his colleague, air hostess Katerina, just hours before he is due to fly a planeload of passengers to Atlanta.
Apparent mechanical failures see the plane spiral out of control and take a rapid descent out of the sky. However, experienced flyer Whip manages to land the plane in an empty field in a somewhat miraculous fashion given the potentially catastrophic circumstances.
The film then follows Whip’s journey through the legal process, as debate forms as to whether he is a true hero (for landing the machine so swiftly) or a reckless killer (for being unfit to be in charge of a vehicle in the first place).
Upon viewing, the accident scene is traumatic and captivating. As panic strikes the crew and passengers you can almost feel their fear as the plane takes a turbulent turn, dipping into a terrifying dive towards the land below.
However, the likelihood and the purpose of the love story embedded into the narrative remains questionable. Whip meets drug-addict Nicole (Kelly Reilly) in hospital after the crash, and upon finding out about her recent homeless status, he offers to take her in at his father’s farm. These events alone are barely believable, but unfortunately there doesn’t even seem to be even an inkling of a spark between the pair.
Usually, having a love interest makes for relatable and exciting viewing, but the relationship Whip and Nicole share fails to have much substance, and sharing a lackluster kiss just seemed to enhance an obvious desperation to include some sort of generic romance. This fails considerably especially as the opening scene with a naked colleague is more convincing than some odd acquaintance formed on a hospital stairwell.
Conclusions: I would have preferred more of a gripping love tale; there was a definite need to vamp up the chemistry! A little less cliché and a little more romantic oomph would spice up this otherwise compelling, dramatic movie.