An impromptu and miraculous crash landing achieved by Capt. Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), was but a small fraction in the entire spectrum of conflict and emotion in this film.
“Flight” tells the story of an addict pilot successfully crashing an aircraft, losing six of the 102 souls on board, and then using its rock-bottom setting as a foundation to rebuild his life.
Although the emergency landing seemed to be the film’s climax, filled with extreme suspense and so much raw emotion, the overriding theme is one man’s search for truth and balance in his life.
Whitaker is a seasoned pilot suffering from alcoholism, substance abuse and a serious case of denial. He enters the cockpit habitually with an illegal blood-alcohol level and remnants of his last line of cocaine in his nostrils.
Within the first few scenes of “Flight,” we find out Whitaker’s addictions have cost him his wife, his only son and upon the crash, his pilot’s license is in jeopardy as well.
Six crew members were on board at the time of the crash, including Whitaker, co-pilot Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty) and the flight attendants. Each individual, dead or alive, underwent a routine toxicology screening.
Whitaker’s report showed large amounts of cocaine as well as a 0.24 blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash.
It was all too obvious he had a serious problem.
The film weaves through scenes of Whitaker with his romantic interest, Nicole (Kelly Reilly), a recovering heroin addict; his coke-head best friend, Harling Mays (John Goodman); his union representative, Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood); and his lawyer, Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle).
Lang was able to nix his toxicology report right off the bat, but Whitaker was still encouraged to lie about several of the incedents leading up to the emergency landing.
Whitaker’s internal struggles within the movie are guarenteed to have its viewers on the edge of their seats.
From the unbelieveably suspenseful crash, which allowed the audience to all but experience it for themselves, to the film’s final conslusion, “Flight” is unnerving and frustrating at times, but overall it is an inspiring tale of faith, defeat and redemption.
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