UK Release date: 1st February 2013
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 5th October 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I heard quite a lot about this one on release; it made quite a splash, even gaining two Oscar nominations. Of course it never played at my local and so I’ve had to wait until now when it aired on TV. Was it worth the wait? Yes, although it’s not one I would have paid full price for on DVD. It does have one or two issues, which I’ll discuss later, but over all, it’s a pretty good watch. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
When pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) saves a commercial aircraft from certain disaster he becomes a hero. But it is not as straightforward as it seems. He has a drink problem and this is going to make life very difficult for quite a few people before the crash investigation is over. His union rep, Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood) and the lawyer for the airline, High Lang (Don Cheadle) do their best to suppress certain condemning evidence against him but at the end of the day it’s Whip who’ll have to testify. The film takes us through his personal journey from the day of the crash onwards. In the hospital he meets a recovering addict, Nicole (Kelly Reilly), who he helps out and the pair of them live together for a while. Eventually though she cannot be around him because of his drinking and she leaves. He is taken to an AA meeting but nothing seems to work. His testimony is coming up and extreme measures are needed to keep him sober, but will it work?
Although I liked this film I did find it a little too long; in fact I have to admit that I watched it in two halves. From a totally stunning sequence at the start I felt it lost momentum for a while, that was until I became embroiled in the drama of Whip Whitaker’s story. It’s quite a tale and an excellent performance from Denzel Washington holds it all together quite brilliantly. I also thought Kelly Reilly did a pretty good job as well. But back to the opening sequence for a moment, for me it ranks as one of the best special effects driven sequences I’ve seen in a very long time and hats off to all involved. Taken as a whole, the film does take the audience on quite a journey and I know for some it couldn’t quite live up to that crash sequence. For me I thought it held together pretty well, mainly thanks to the acting skills of Mr Washington. Over all, definitely worth a watch but don’t get blown away by the crash sequence, there’s a lot more depth to it than that.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.8/10.
IMDb Score: 7.3/10 (based on 150,410 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 76/100: (Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 75/100: (based on 140,800 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Official Site: http://www.paramount.com/flight/