A plane with 102 people aboard breaks in midflight. The pilot, Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) makes an incredible landing of the broken plane and only four people are killed. However, the hero pilot comes under investigation because of the alcohol in his bloodstream at the time of the crash. Although many simulations of the flight by qualified pilots ended in complete destruction and Whitaker’s ace performance could not be denied, his intoxication while piloting cannot be ignored.
Other than the exciting, spectacular plane action, “Flight” is a sad commentary on the sordidness of alcoholism and addiction. John Goodman plays his dealer/hippie healer, Harling Mays, who arrives at the hospital with some cocaine and better medication than what the drips are providing. However, Whitaker is in no mood to deal with the exuberant Mays and his cures. He has just learned that his current girlfriend/flight attendant was one of the four killed.
While in the hospital recovering from injuries, Whitaker meets a druggie, Nicole (Kelly Reilly), who is trying to pull herself together after an overdose. At first, Whitaker gets rid of all the booze and beer in his father’s farmhouse, where he has gone to escape the media, but that doesn’t last long. Nicole comes to stay with him and attends AA meetings. Whitaker wants none of that. He’s a mess. In order to stay clean, she leaves him.
Mays returns towards the end of the movie to medicate Whitaker out of a drunken stupor minutes before the investigative hearing is to begin.
“Flight” is a well-acted film, but it brought back too many ugly memories for me.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.