Sunday, 3 February 2013
Enjoy the 'Flight'.
Starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle & John Goodman. Director: Robert Zemeckis.
This is your captain speaking. Where about to take off with latest Acadmey nominated Denzel Washington movie 'Flight' and should arrive at his 'Best Actor' destination in about 2 hours and 18 minutes. Please ensure all your electronic devices are turned off and stowed (especially those mobiles), your seat is in the upright position and your tray tables are up. Because Denzel flies in this soaring film. Brace yourselves, Robert Zemeckis is back and this terminal 'Cast Away' will leave you grounded.
After colloborating with nineties legend Tom Hanks for some classics ('Cast Away' and the iconic legend of 'Forrest Gump'), Zemeckis teams up with the other nineties legend Denzel Washington who is still on the top of his two-time, Academy winning game. Just like 'Training Day' this Best Actor nominated performance is as real as it gets in all its sinister and sobering moments. Playing a pilot who miraciously crash-lands a plummeting jet, our hero of the hour has one problem...he was drink-flying.
From a frightening but fantastic opening set-piece that ensures this film will never be shown as an in-flight movie you're really drawn into this bleak but brilliant picture. So much so I almost put my head between my legs when instructed to do so by the airline staff. From vertigo to cabin fever all your worst fears are imagined and put on screen for all to see and believe. Once the aerial action is replaced by the legal process however that's when the real life and death drama kicks in with the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle of a 15 minutes of fame, televised hero.
Denzel's incredible performance gives this film its wings. We've seen for years in short bursts while behind other forms of transportation ('Unstoppable' and 'The Taking Of Pelham 123') that out of nowhere Washington can blinside us with a tear inducing shed of emotion. In 'Flight' it's all laid out here as Denzel bears it all. Blood, sweat and tears, the good, the bad and the ugly and some of the best acting of the career of a man who is used to knocking out classic performance after classic performance. "What f****** life" he shouts back after being told by a friend that he's trying to save his life. This says it all really. With the lowest of the low, Denzel gives us the best of his best.
There's more than the leads performance that gives this film it's Oscar weight in gold. Don Cheadle is in our mans corner as a legal counsel with a conflicting mix of conscience and callousness, that really highlights the human confused side of the conflicting themes of this movie. Go to character actor of the moment John Goodman is also on swaggering and hilarious form even on the spare change of his screen-time. The supporting cast also rises from the sublime but strung-out, Kelly Reilly who is more used to being the gentle lady wife of Dr. Watson in the 'Sherlock Holmes' series and Bruce Greenwood who is used to telling people how may lives they saved as Captain Pike in the 'Star Trek' franchise.
Like a bad night on the sauce 'Flight' is emotional and funny as it messes with your head. Still, this is as real and as raw as drama gets and with Denzel piloting this one you know its going to be good even if it doesn't go down smooth. Brutally honest this film pulls all the punches with no shame. It's a refreshing swig of modern day life that doesn't play too much into the Hollywood b.s. The Hollywood stuff came with the brilliant, blockbuster, special-effects opening. The grounded drama just as nasty and nauseating that closes the rest of the picture is what real movie-making is all about however. The 'Best Actor' contest is hot this year but even the great Daniel Day-Lewis and legendary Abraham Lincoln may have some competition from a disgraced drunk of all people. That's just how good Denzel Washington is. Enjoy the 'Flight'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.