Steen: Flight a tough movie to watch but worth it

It’s not easy to find that a hero has ‘feet of clay’ and it’s harder still to watch the fall.


And so it was on Friday last that I thought that Skyfall 007 had reached our theatres, only to discover that it starts on Nov. 7 (I was shaken), but undeterred, and in keeping with the theme, I chose to go to Flight, a movie from the producers of Forest Gump. It’s not easy to find that a hero has ‘feet of clay’ and it’s harder still to watch the fall, but this is what Flight is about.

Airline pilot, Captain (Whip) Whitaker, played by Danzel Washington, in a feat of incredible skill, saves most of the 102 passengers on an ill-fated flight which, from the get-go, has mechanical problems.

The touted hero is quickly investigated for his lifestyle of addictions and we, the audience are left to watch a life spiraling out of control.

If the character of Whip Whitaker had been played by a lesser actor, it might have been unwatchable, but in the very capable hands of Danzel Washington, we are drawn into his world and need to see it to the very end, even though many scenes are hard to watch.

There are very few light moments in this show, and strangely the only laughs come from John Goodman’s character, Harling Mays, Whip’s drug go-to-guy. Goodman, it seems, can bring humour to even the most horrific of situations. When he says “that’s what we have in common Nurse Ratchet, we both hate me,” we have to chuckle.

There were only a couple of “stars” in this film—Washington and Goodman—but British-born Kelly Reilly (of Sherlock Holmes and Pride and Prejudice fame), playing a heroin addict, was excellent.

There are no really funny lines that I can share. This is not an easy film to watch and if you already have a fear of flying, I’d avoid seeing this one as the flying scenes are particularly scary.

However, if real life troubles and triumphs, tough slice-of-life messages, a surprising ending and great acting appeal to you, by all means, go see it.

I hope Washington gets an Oscar nomination for this one.

I give Flight four reels.

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