Film Review: Flight

FlightDespite a strong central performance, Flight feels weighed down by its length, pacing and ultimately its execution.

Commercial airline pilot Whip Whitaker saves a flight from a catastrophic disaster after a malfunction. An investigation into the crash leads to a troubling discovery. With everyone calling Whip a hero, things may not be exactly as they seem…

Robert Zemeckis’ Flight is a character study. The pivotal aspect of the film is the protagonist’s internal journey. Flight depicts alcoholism with the seriousness it deserves. Nevertheless, it does not rank as a classic film featuring this theme in the same way as The Lost Weekend for example.

Flight has an interesting first third, but by the end the film feels laboured. Whip is an engaging character, but the overlong narrative does not make the film itself compelling. The side strands of Flight are not particularly well conceived. There seems to be a lack of attention given to this element. When a film is as long as Flight is, this is rather important.

Director Robert Zemeckis executes the crash sequence with aplomb. It is tense, and the cutting between the captain’s cabin and the rest of the plane works very well. It is a shame that the rest of the film does not match up to it. Production values are good overall, but the song choices are terribly clichéd.

Denzel Washington delivers a powerful as Whip Whitaker. His performance is certainly stronger than the material he has to work with. John Goodman provides amusing support in a small role, while Bruce Greenwood and Don Cheadle are well cast in their respective roles.

Flight is by no means a terrible film, but is far from being an excellent one. Denzel Washington is the bright spot.