Maksim's Review of Flight
Provocative and a real nail-biter, Flight is an outstanding mystery thriller loaded with emotions and brilliant performances. An example of a neat and solid old-school movie, this is not only a wonderful piece of a film-making, but also an essay on morality and the value of truth.
Flight's story is quite straightforward and upbeat, for the type of addiction drama that it turns into. Its full-throttle beginning does not finish with the plane's crash and despite the hard topic and the one-man-show of Denzel Washington, the pace never slows down. What starts as a mystery about the possible ending of a plane crash investigation turns into an unsolvable moral dilemma and a question about the price of truth. Director Robert Zemeckis zig-zags between witty moments, shameless corporate affairs and scenes of addiction and spiritual loneliness in order to turn the somehow cartoonish beginning (the plane crash is quite an impossible crash) into a drama soaked with painful realism.
Apart from Zemeckis' most welcome return to live-motion movies,Flight is also another remarkable Denzel Washington-centered delivery. Captain Whip Whitaker's personality is richly nuanced and Washington succeeds to depict Whitaker's arrogance, addiction, loneliness, despair and to evoke empathic reactions in the audience. The most impressive in his role as an alcoholic is the fact that he never asks to be understood, never allows to be judged. This strengthens the dilemma of: should we judge someone of being alcoholic (and under influence) when he has saved so many lives? This question will be stuck in your mind long after the final credits.
The only minor flaw in Flight is the one, simple moment when Captain Whitaker asks God for help in the end. A bit pathetic and spiritually far from being inspiring, Robert Zemeckis should have cut this from Whitaker's lines.
With two Academy nomination for Best Leading Actor and Best Screenplay, Flight turns out to be Zemeckis' best movie since his all-time classic Forrest Gump. If Washington winning again an Oscar seems improbable, the Best Screenplay Award is surely much deserved and it would only confirm that Flight is a movie which captivates, entertains and delivers the type of cinematographic experience which would please absolutely everyone. A real "must see"!