When someone is really good at making movies, they can choose any genre and make a masterpiece. Robert Zemeckis, the director of Back to the Future, is one of those people. He’s also the guy behind such movies as Death Becomes Her, Castaway, and Contact. And he’s still fucking got it. Flight is a complex movie that’s easy to watch about an airline pilot who also happens to be an addict and an alcoholic. Yes, William “Whip” Whitaker Sr. is the man you would want piloting a metal beast while it’s flying high above the ground. As you can already guess this is a recipe for excitement, if nothing else.
The opening scene is just pure perfection. One of the first things we see is a very beautiful and very nude young lady waking up in a hotel room next to Whip. A phone call wakes him up and then he proceeds to drink some beer, light a cigarette, and smoke some weed. Now if that’s not a good morning, I don’t know what is. Moreover, the entire opening thirty minutes of this movie are absolutely mind-blowingly good. It’s so difficult not to go into details but I will remain calm and not spoil anything.
Denzel Washington gave another memorable performance as Whip. The man is a fucking legend and he can play almost anyone with conviction and style. Flight blends a lot of genres together, like a good biopic. It’s basically a character study. A really interesting character study that poses an interesting question. A two-part question with two key words: addiction and functioning. We all know about that popular movie trope where a detective who also happens to be a functioning alcoholic is trying to solve a case. He’s not hurting anyone by his drinking, is he?
What about Whip, a man who’s responsible for the lives of all those people sitting right behind him in the airplane? It’s questions like these that make this movie so thought-provoking. Especially if you had experience with drugs or alcohol. To make things even weirder, Flight is loosely based on real events, focusing on this event, which I recommend checking out only after you’ve seen the movie to avoid any spoilers. We will have a bit of exciting action, a bit of thrill, and a bit of drama.
So, there will be something for everyone. The first part of the movie is more action-oriented while the second one is much more introspective and calmer. On a personal note, during all this time, I kept thinking how cool Whip is. I mean, just put yourself in his shoes and try to comprehend the highs he’s experiencing. Disregard the moral aspect of it all and just immerse yourself in his character. I mean, I know that feeling of waking up next to a beautiful girl, lighting up a cigarette and then a joint and I can tell you it’s pretty good.
And just to be clear, this was an extremely rare occasion for me, a cave troll glued to his computer. However, I cannot imagine going to your workplace, the motherfucking airplane and flying. It’s just so freaking weird. And that scene where he snorts a line of coke and then exits the hotel room wearing his pilot’s suit is just pure perfection. Finally, I want you to pay close attention to one single scene. I think that the most important scene in the entire movie Flight is the one with the fridge towards the end. It’s so subtle and yet so powerful that I can’t help remembering it from time to time.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: John Gatins
Cast: Nadine Velazquez, Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Kelly Reilly, Charlie E. Schmidt
Fun Facts: When Whip boards the plane after a night of heavy drinking, he “tests” the oxygen mask. The sudden influx of pure oxygen is extremely helps with hangovers.