Weekly rewind: November 8
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Thursday, November 08, 2012
11/08/12 at 4:39 AM
For expanded review, visit tulsaworld.com/movies.
Rating: (on a scale of zero to four stars)
It feels wrong to say that Denzel Washington delivers an average performance in "Flight," which is to say that he is remarkable. The man is routinely excellent at his craft, but we shouldn't take that for granted.
As Capt. Whip Whitaker, he is an airline pilot, and he is a drunk. But for all of the alcoholic roles Hollywood has delivered previously, Washington pulls off the role of the functioning drunk in a way not seen before.
To see the man down a beer and snort a line of cocaine before heading to the airport is to put the audience on alert that Whip is a threat to the public, behind the wheel with a .24 blood-alcohol content.
To then see him pilot a malfunctioning, crash-landing jetliner and save almost everyone on board - imagine Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger accomplishing his heroics if he'd been on an all-night bender - is to realize that this is a man grown comfortable in his intoxicated state.
This is a man whose instincts alone allow him to deliver, whether on a daily basis or in a moment of crisis, and it creates a fascinating conundrum: An alcoholic who is never exposed for his flaws seeks neither redemption nor forgiveness for them.
Whip can still fly despite his drinking. Whip drinks to chase away his demons down on the ground, like an ex-wife he has disappointed too many times and a son who won't talk to him.
This makes Whip a defiant character throughout "Flight," directed by Robert Zemeckis, who is making his first non-"motion capture" film in 12 years after "The Polar Express," "Beowulf" and "A Christmas Carol."
The "Forrest Gump" filmmaker's last such picture was "Cast Away," and like that movie, "Flight" begins with an air disaster that leaves its protagonist on an island.
|Movie|| Rating (on 4• scale)|
|The Perks of Being a Wallflower |
|End of Watch|| |
|Wreck-it Ralph |
|Hope Springs |
|Alex Cross|| |
|Here Comes the Boom|| |
|Pitch Perfect |
|Trouble With the Curve|| |
|Chicken With Plums |
|Cloud Atlas|| |
|Fun Size|| |
|Seven Psychopaths|| |
|Hotel Transylvania |
|The Paperboy|| |
— MICHAEL SMITH, NOUR HABIB and ROBERT EVATT, World Scene Writers
Denzel Washington stars as alcoholic pilot turned hero Capt. Whip Whitaker in "Flight." Courtesy