Whip (Denzel Washington) is a divorced pilot with an addiction problem. To get over his hangovers – when he’s not too drunk to have one – he usually takes a bit of cocaine. He goes through that same routine before getting on a plane that subsequently crashes. Though everyone agrees that this is due to a technical error and that Whip is solely responsible for saving most of the people on board, an investigation into his life makes him slowly face his drug problem.
Flight was very long. It could have easily been shorter and it would have been better for it. But even if it had been shorter, it just felt tired. Like both the story and the production was just a paint-by-the-numbers thing. Which is not really what you want from a film.
Here’s the thing that makes this film not work: it feels like everybody is going through the motions. Everybody, that is, but James Badge Dale. He seems to not have gotten the general memo that everybody was phoning it in. And even though he’s only in one scene, it is definitely the best part of the film.
The second best part is Kelly Reilly because she’s Kelly Reilly. Unfortunately her character – Nicole – just won’t really fit into the story. That entire ark seemed extremely forced and unnecessary. One of the parts that could and should have been cut.
It’s not only the actors, though, that didn’t really give this movie their all. The script, Zemeckis’ direction – it didn’t feel like anybody was actually invested in this film or interested in telling the story well. Instead the story is manipulative, the ending is overly sweet and it just didn’t ring true.
The film has its moments. But without an emotional connection, they remain isolated events and don’t make the film work on the whole. It’s not abysmal, but it’s not much more than average either.
Summarising: if you have nothing better to do.