Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is in a bit of a bind. The good news is that he saved a plane full of passengers by pulling off an extremely risky midair manoeuvre to avoid a crash. The bad news is he was drunk while he did it, which could lead to all sorts of criminal charges. With a hearing on the horizon, it's up to Whip to confront his alcoholism and attempt to turn his life around.
Flight is a very personal drama through and through, and Washington leads the whole thing wonderfully. His character is very much the flawed hero, clearly a brilliant man who is plagued by a serious problem. But like most alcoholics, Washington plays the role in a way that makes it seem like he's on top of things, that kept me thinking that maybe he'd be able to solve his problems, or maybe that they weren't even that bad. So while the plot is quite slow and deliberate, Washington's performance kept me focussed and caring right to the end.
Not to disregard the rest of the cast though. There are also great performances from Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly and John Goodman, playing attorney, druggie and dealer respectively. They provide very different characters for Washington to dialogue with, lending to some great dramatic scenes throughout. Still, at over two hours long, the movie does drag out for a little too long.
Flight starts out with a fantastic action set piece, before giving way to some very personal, dramatic stuff that, while a little drawn out, is carried by some fantastic performances, especially by Denzel Washington. His Oscar nomination was very well deserved.
My rating: 4/5