Thursday, March 28, 2013
In brief: Flight
And the Agitation Award for Having Your Cake and Eating It goes to … ‘Flight’. In scene after scene, director Robert Zemeckis revels in the beer-guzzling, vodka-gulping, snoke-snorting, cuss-word-spewing and generally smartass bad behaviour of emotional fuck up and genius pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington). Gasp as Whip cops off with a foxy air hostess, toots a line of the Colombian marching powder just to wake up, then heads off to a fly a plane! Cringe as Whip uses said plane as a battering ram to power through clouds, rain and turbulence in a convergence of meteorological circumstances that could easily be mistaken for the wrath of God! Shudder as mechanical failure sends the plane hurtling earth-wards and Whip flips it over in mid-air then pulls off an audacious crash landing with a minimal loss of life! Watch in stupefaction as Whip disses the airline lawyer (Don Cheadle) who knows he was incapacitated at the controls but tries his damnest to keep him from going down! Yawn as Whip slides into a tediously protracted and doomed-from-the-start relationship with a fellow recovering addict (Kelly Reilly)! Snigger as Whip’s on-call drug dealer (John Goodman) spews profanity and politically incorrect homilies left, right and centre, happily stealing every scene he’s in! Be a little bit sick in your mouth as Whip gets a mammoth (and mammothly unconvincing) case of moral conscience in the last act! Punch yourself multiple times in the groin as Whip is finally able to bond with his estranged son by dint of being in prison!
Ooops, sorry. Spoiler.
‘Flight’ has a fucking great first hour, an increasingly redundant second hour and an utterly abysmal last ten minutes. It’s blatantly in love with its protagonist while he’s being an irresponsible arsehole, but still wants to sell you on the redemptive/clean ‘n’ sober final act. It fails.