Skip to main content

Official Poster & Images For Mile 22 Starring Mark Wahlberg

FLIGHT Review. Is The Film Oscar Worthy?

By: MattInRC

Does Flight secure yet another Oscar nod for Denzel Washington, or is this flight stuck on the tarmac? 

Warning - major spoilers ahead.

Among the best actors of our time, Denzel Washington's resume is unmatched: from Glory and Philadelphia, to Crimson Tide and (one of this year's best) Safe House, Washington's ability to engross us with his roles sometimes outdoes the film itself (think Man on Fire). His recent choices have taken on morally ambivalent anti-heroic characters, doomed to difficulty, failure, and ultimately redemption. And although Flight suits his Modus operandi, resulting in yet another intense white-knuckled affair, it's the script's inconsistencies that eventually bring this plane down.

Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a pilot for the fictitious South Jet Airlines, whose sorted lifestyle choices find him in the first scene passed out in an Orlando hotel room with stewardess Katerina Marquez (Nadine Velasquez, My Name is Earl). Never a man to dismiss a drink or the offer of sex, Whitaker is a disaster waiting to happen; his morning regiment consists of a snort of cocaine and later a bottle of orange juice filled with several hotel bottles of vodka. It's amazing he can get out of bed, let alone pilot a plane, but duty calls as his next flight is soon to depart. When things turn ugly during a raging thunderstorm in which Whitaker's plane loses both engines and heads into an uncontrolled descent, he somehow crash-lands in an empty field, saving many lives and making him a hero to the survivors, including his co-pilot (Brian Geraghty, Hurt Locker) and lead stewardess Margaret (Tamara Tunie, Wall Street). As Whitaker's toxicology report comes back positive, he enlists the aid of pilot's union representative Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood, Star Trek 2009) and lawyer Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle, Ocean's Eleven). Things seem to be going well, until Whitaker descends once again into several drunken binges aided in part by his supplier (John Goodman, O Brother, Where Art Thou?), who will later come to his aid in one of the movie's funniest and best scenes. But the NTSB isn't laughing, as charges of criminal negligence and possible jail time threaten to undo him. While recovering, Whip meets the drug addict Nicole (Kelly Reily, Sherlock Holmes), who narrowly survived a harrowing drug overdose. As one attempts rehab, the other refuses treatment, culminating in a bender the night before his trial. As the circle begins to tighten, Whitaker must decide whether to clean up and admit his addiction, or sweep it under the rug so he can fly again.

Director Robert Zemeckis (Forest Gump) returns to live-action after a 12-year absence, and it's like he never left. He's at his best during the frantic crash sequence, mixing panicked dialogue, realistic special effects, and Washington's cool-under-pressure bravado into a cacophony of searing engines, screaming passengers, and thunderous pulse-pounding rattles as Whitaker somehow lands the plane with minimal loss of life. But the film is never so good after the crash, vacillating between religious undertones of intervention and full-blown endorsements of Alcoholics Anonymous. And while I enjoyed the eye candy of an extended nude scene featuring Velasquez, it's a bit gratuitous and superfluous. Washington's troupe of veterans work well together, with Goodman churning out yet another enjoyable supporting roles, and both Greenwood and Cheadle working off each other in every scene they're in. Riley's a fair player for Washington, but she's clearly underutilized here, relegated to a minor character in photos by film's end. Writer John Gatins (Real Steel) initially absorbs the audience into Whitaker's world of sex, drugs, and booze with an effective Act 1 & 2; unfortunately, things go astray in Act 3, removing some of the impact and intensity by forcing us to live Whitaker's entire story instead of choosing a well-placed and ultimately more effective landing spot (no pun). There's clearly several points where the story felt extended, possibly due to poor feedback from test audiences. Imagine if Gatins had ended things near the end of Whitaker's trial as opposed to its ultimate redemption angle? Such an ending would have left a lot on the table by giving audiences a chance to make their own ending. In the end, we're treated to a discussion on AA, with Whitaker extolling the virtues of a clean life, and a limp ending involving his son interviewing the now-sober father. Sigh...

Unquestionably a good (not great) film, Flight should nab both Washington and Zemeckis Oscar nods, but its long and unnecessary 138-minute runtime might keep this creative team from joining each other on stage come February 24th. Flight is a solid, engrossing film, certainly a top 15, but Washington's done better this year. Hopefully, moviegoers will also check out his performance in Safe House to see a better and more connected story that deserves a nod for its efforts. In the meantime, enjoy Flight - it's rated R for explicit nudity, language, and drug use.

Please Leave A Comment-


Popular posts from this blog

Spoiler Free AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Review 'Blown Away"

Two years after the Avengers were torn apart during the events of Captain America: Civil War, Thanos arrives on Earth to collect the Infinity Stones for a gauntlet that will allow him to bend reality to his will. The Avengers must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him before his onslaught of destruction puts an end to half the universe


Youtube Channel for sandwichjohnfilms:

Make sure to follow Zach on

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR hits U.S. theaters on April 27.

Discuss this with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms

Please Leave A Comment-

Taron Egerton Is Playing Elton John In Biopic 'Rocketman'

Regular listeners to the Empire Podcast (sorry about the whole Call Me By Your Name theme ear worm, incidentally) will recall that we had Taron Egerton as a guest on the 300th episode, recorded in front of an audience on Valentine's Day. He talked up his hope that Elton John biopic Rocketman would finally come together, and now Paramount is closing a deal to finance and distribute the film worldwide.

The film, which has been through at least one previous incarnation (Michael Gracey directing Tom Hardy in the lead) is reuniting the Eddie The Eagle team of Egerton, director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn, who has been trying to get the movie made for a while, with Elton's blessing and the support of his company, Rocket Pictures.

Featuring a script by Lee Hall, Rocketman will follow the career of the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight, from a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to a global superstar, through his influential and enduring musical partnership w…

Avengers: Infinity War Premiere Today Here At 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT

The world premiere of Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War,” featuring the ultimate collection of Super Heroes in one film.

From the Film: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Paul Bettany, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Mackie, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Letitia Wright, Sean Gunn, Winston Duke, Pom Klementieff, Michael Shaw; Kevin Feige (producer), Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (directors); Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau, Michael Grillo (executive producers); Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (writers)

Watch the premiere at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT,, or

Special Guests: Angela Bassett, David Dastmalchi…