Check out the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet.
I wasn’t that eager to see Flight – it was my boyfriend’s pick, but I agreed to go with him. I’ll admit I was a little bit curious about the film but it wasn’t big on my radar. So I hadn’t checked out a lot of information before going to see it, and only knew the barest amount about it from the trailer. So the movie I was expecting to see and the movie I saw were two completely different things.
What I Expected:
Some how from the trailer I had gotten the impression that this movie involved a plane crash, where the pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) had miraculously saved everyone on board, and it launched an investigation. Cue highly intellectual material, with dramatic tones, when Whiptaker discovers he’s being framed for the crash when really it’s the plane manufacturer’s fault for the plane falling apart.
OR, he discovers that the plane had been tampered with by someone who needed to kill off Whiptaker or another passenger, not expecting Whiptaker to be able to land the plane.
What Actually Happened:
In fact, this movie focuses on Whitaker, who turns out to be an alcoholic and hard drug user. The story is more his battle with trying to cover up his addictions and trying to clear himself from being responsible for the plane crash. From the very first scene you are launched into a world of drugs and alcohol, and this is the main focus of the storyline – Whitaker’s battle as he tries to walk away from it all. So what I thought would be an intellectual, fast-paced and suspenseful investigation into the plane crash actually turns out to be a character drama. Not that that is a bad thing – just not the movie I was expecting.
So in terms of what the movie actually was, I have very mixed feelings. I’ve been seeing a lot that critics are giving good reviews. I think this is due to Washington’s acting. He is superb in his role as the alcoholic who is trying to keep it together long enough to clear his name. Every time Whitaker slips back into alcoholism Washington does a fantastic job portraying the mixed emotions and helplessness in his character.
But the rest? There’s a lot more nudity involved (including a whole scene with porn stars in the background). There’s a secondary story with drug-addicted Nicole, who gets involved with Whitaker, that really doesn’t add anything to the movie. But besides her there’s not a lot of interaction with other characters, just a lot of shots with Washington swigging more alcohol.
The plane crash is incredibly intense – and as someone who’s not very fond of planes was utterly horrifying (will I ever be able to step foot on a plane again??). It was absolutely incredible. But compared to the plane crash, the rest of the movie was incredibly slow. And I mean slow. I have yet to fall asleep in a movie theatre but man this one was close. I definitely had droopy eyes multiple times while watching.
So was the acting superb? Yes. Was the crash absolutely horrifying and intense? Yes. Was the ending good? Yes, I actually really liked what happened at the end. But everything else in between? Unfortunately a giant yawn. However, if you’re big into character dramas with strong acting, this might be one for you!