‘Flight’ storyline engages audience

By Jair Fuentes

“Flight” is an endearing story about a pilot who faces an investigation and legal issues, despite saving hundreds of lives in a plane crash.

The film revolves around Captain Whip Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington.  A seemingly troubled person, Whitaker is a drug and alcohol user who finds it hard to control his addiction. Due to this, he even mixes an alcoholic beverage while on the job.

During a flight, the plane begins to experience extreme turbulence and eventually fails.  In a moment of panic, Whitaker keeps his cool and decides to land the plane by rolling it in an inverted position and landing it in a glide maneuver.

Initially, Whitaker’s act is hailed by many as heroic. Afterwards, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) begins to investigate to see if he had anything to do with the plane’s failure.  They discover that Whitaker had alcohol in his system during the plane crash, and if convicted, he could spend years in prison.

He decides to avoid major media attention, so he stays at his father’s farm in the days leading up to his trial, while getting moral support from his love interest Nicole, played by Kelly Reilly.

Along with his friend Harling Mays, played by John Goodman, colleague Charlie, played by Bruce Greenwood and attorney Hugh, played by Don Cheadle, the film follows Whitaker’s journey of trying to prove his innocence all while dealing with his inner demons.

This film features exceptional performances.  Washington portrays an honest, yet troubled character who truly connects with audiences. While at times the audience will root for him, there are moments where he is stubborn and unlikable.  Goodman is amazing as always, as is Cheadle. The only minor exception is the female lead, Reilly, who is a bit underdeveloped.

Written by John Gatins, the film’s script is very well done.  Each scene has important dialogue that keeps the film running smoothly.  Nothing seems forced and the actors make every word believable.

All in all, it’s a great film with an interesting story and incredible acting. Not to mention, an absolutely breathtaking plane crash sequence.

“Flight” is directed by Robert Zemeckis and runs for two hours and 19 minutes. It is rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence.

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