Flight Screen 17 articles

Flight

2012

Flight Poster
  • That Flight happily dwells within conventional boundaries can be frustrating given the raw and affecting potential of the material. But in its most effective passages, those in which Zemeckis is less self-conscious about making sure we are grasping his allusions (to God, fate, etc.), Flight conjures stirring images that cut into the relationship of technological destruction and "human brokenness," as the filmmaker put in a post-screening press conference.

  • The emotions go overboard in all segments related to Nicole, as well as in Alan Silvestri's soupily needling score. While Flight gives the corporate machinations around Whit commendable narrative time, his alcoholic endgame is the film's unavoidably repetitive focal point.

  • A tense first act for the record books and the promise of a genuinely intriguing dissection of the constrictive parameters of hero worship are both grounded by actorly vanity and Zemeckis' insistence on filming each highball glass, travel-size bottle of booze and refrigerator door as though each contained 151 proof Hitchcock, constantly bedeviling our sozzled Capt. Sully.

  • Slowly but surely, “Flight” degenerates from a tale of moral paradox and wounded romance into a mid-1990s after-school special about addiction and recovery. You get the feeling the filmmakers are aiming for a star-driven combo of the Sully saga and “Crime and Punishment.”

  • Frustrating, because it floats a genuinely challenging idea—that you'd rather be in a plane flown by a drunk, coked-up pilot who knows what he's doing and can react quickly and calmly under pressure than one flown by a sober stickler who'll panic and crash—but ultimately just wants to punish Whip for his trangressions, like every other addiction movie ever made.

  • Fittingly enough for two films [Flight and Lawless] about the unlawful quaffing of spirits, the problem with both is one of contrived tonal sobriety; just as Hillcoat seduces himself with his own faculty for lame, pace-slackening art shots (snowflakes falling on rural roads, ruddily pubescent lady faces reflected in side view mirrors, etc), Zemeckis thinks he can turn even microwaved schlock into prescriptively zeitgeist-y material.

  • Skilfully-made but problematic, a reflection of an age when therapy culture demands that everyone play by the rules, joining either the Jesus crowd or (preferably) the AA crowd, both camps saying essentially the same thing - that stubborn individualism = denial, and there's no room for the wild man who self-medicates with coke and declares "I choose to drink". Hunter S. Thompson died just in time.

  • As is to be expected from a Zemeckis production, the resulting crash sequence is a master class in taut, tense spectacle. But when the action shifts exclusively to ground level—where Whip fights a potential lawsuit and battles his own personal demons—the movie gets much choppier.

  • You’ll soon realize that Flight is no more a film about flying than Shame was about sex; this is a story of the self-destructive lengths people will go to in order to salve their soul. Take out the opening jaw-dropper, and you’ve essentially got The Lost Weekend Redux.. There’s plenty of virtuosity to go around here—just precious little transcendence.

  • Calm and chaos commingle beautifully in the crash landing set piece as handled by director Robert Zemeckis, making his first live-action film since 2000's Cast Away and having spent the past decade exploring motion-capture CG in the likes of The Polar Express. It is not surprising that Zemeckis's handling of spectacle would be undiminished, but he hasn't lost his touch with actors, either, coaching Washington into one of his rare performances that suggests much more than it shows.

  • The first half of this is challenging and exciting, from its almost comic treatment of Whit’s addictions to the well-staged plane crash, which easily the equal of the astounding disaster sequences in The Impossible and Life of Pi. The film that follows that set piece is far more mundane, eventually returning to the same template set out by The Lost Weekend decades ago.

  • God is used here the way Nicole uses the needle that accidentally falls out of her purse: the heroin is a shield against the mind digging deeper into the disturbing mess that either personal choices or “conditions on the ground” have made of us.

  • Though it's hampered by some formulaic touches (like a false-ringing romance and a final scene too bent on lifting spirits), Flight is one unique, audacious studio movie, kicking off as a star-driven spectacle before whittling itself down to a raw and riveting character study.

  • It’s no surprise that “Flight” has salvation in mind. The shock is how deep Mr. Zemeckis and Mr. Washington journey into the abyss and how long they stay there. It can be tough for stars to play such unrepentantly compromised characters, as Mr. Washington does brilliantly here.

  • Flight brings Zemeckis back to the adult-movie fold with a vengeance; it's his darkest, least spectacle-driven movie ever, even if it opens with a humdinger of a plane-crash sequence on par with his best set pieces.

  • I think Zemeckis's selective brusqueness makes Whip's story that much more traumatizing: the door to the next-door hotel room wafts open gracelessly, and Whip's grasping hand also closes with a bump. Flight is moving because it is essentially ambiguous, save for the happy ending Whip earns for himself. There's typically a considerable amount of weight to characters' actions, because there's almost always a catch.

  • The enormous gulf of difference between what we generically expect from a mainstream Oscar-season release and what Flight actually offers accounts for much of the film’s initial blast of energy. To the credit of Zemeckis, screenwriter John Gatins, and lead actor Denzel Washington, there’s also a convincing trace of dark comedy... that, especially at the outset, seems awfully provocative considering the high-stakes conflict of the first-act material...

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