What’s to thank when 96 of 102 people survive a catastrophic crash in a plane piloted by an alcoholic? Luck? Brilliant flying? A miracle?
That is the premise of “Flight.” When airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) drunkenly yet masterfully maneuvers his aircraft out of a nosedive, he saves all but six people from tragic deaths. Though immediately hailed as heroic, Whitaker finds himself under the investigation of a tainted toxicology report, which shows he was under the influence while flying. If brought out in court, the report could not only send him to prison but forever ruin his public image.
The heart of “Flight” is not in explosive action scenes but in complicated character development. “Flight” is a movie about morals and ethics. The viewer is made to think Whitaker is the best pilot there is, and that the real cause of the plane’s turbulence wasn’t his drunken state but the terribly stormy weather. Director Robert Zemeckis allows the drama to set in perfectly, keeping the audience’s attention. Denzel Washington brilliantly portrays Whip Whitaker’s troubled yet diverse persona, chronicling the film’s constant struggle between right and wrong. Until the end, the audience is left debating whether it's worth lying to save a shambled life.