Denzel Gives A Stellar Performance in Flight

I wanted to see Flight when it first came out about a month ago. Denzel Washington braved hurricane Sandy to be on Letterman the week Dave didn’t even have a studio audience just so he could promote the film. It  would have been a lot easier to just take the check and say to hell with it(Tom Hanks, Cloud Atlas). Instead we saw Skyfall which was good but doesn’t  need any help as far as promotion is concerned. A dramatic film with a brother in the lead role needs all the help it can get because most of america won’t go see it.  Even black folks won’t support them, and that puzzles me. Tyler Perry attempted this in his role as Alex Cross and people stayed away in droves. Where were all his fans? I guess if he wasn’t acting a fool, spouting platitudes and setting the race back fifty years they didn’t want to see it.

Anyway, in this movie Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a hard drinking pilot who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air malfunction. The crash landing scene is incredibly real and gut wrenching. Now you would think he’d be a hero like captain Sully but Whip was pretty drunk and had other substances in his system. The movie chronicles the events in the following days when Whip struggles with his addiction and the pressure of the upcoming investigation. In the hospital he meets Nicole a fellow addict who has hit rock bottom and has decided to do something about it. Whip does not see how his drinking is a problem and is stuck in denial even with prison looming over him.

I don’t want to give too much away but there are some suspenseful moments leading up to and including the hearing. I found myself rooting for this guy even though he’s a real asshole because you think maybe he’ll get his shit together this time. This is the movie he should get an Oscar for, not Training Day which was only half believable. Maybe he’ll get one for Flight.