FLIGHT (Robert Zemeckis, 2013)
Count on Denzel Washington to play a despicable antihero that you will actually end up rooting for in the end. In FLIGHT, Washington plays William "Whip" Whitaker, an airplane pilot who's so unfit to fly a plane you wouldn't want to board a plane that he's manning. But the genius of FLIGHT is that with Whip's alcoholism and drug dependency and ego, he still manages to maneuver upside down and save a lot of passengers onboard.
FLIGHT is a must-see if only for Robert Zemeckis' return to live-action feature. We miss Zemeckis of CAST AWAY and FORREST GUMP days. His characters always deal with an upheaval so personal it connects with us in such a way that we identify with the characters' struggles. Whip's demons in FLIGHT is not alcoholism, or drug dependency, but himself. He is at war with himself. He lies his whole life about his drinking problem that sooner or later (as he says in the film) he reaches a threshold that he cannot lie no more. Screenwriter John Gatins establishes his main character so well and stacks the odds in such a way that every turn is a surprise, heartwarming even. Denzel is the perfect man for the character.
However, I felt that Denzel could have given much more to Whip as an alcoholic and a drug dependednt. Sure he is broken down, and he gets up again with a renewed ego, but I wanted to see him at par with his demons. I'm sorry but my standard of cinematic alcoholic is Nicolas Cage in LEAVING LAS VEGAS and Meg Ryan in WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN.
Still, FLIGHT is an enjoyable drama worth your time.