Monday, November 5, 2012

FLIGHT - a sobering voyage

It's been twelve years since we've been graced with a live action flick from Robert Zemeckis of Back To The Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit fame. His last effort was the isolated island picture, Cast Away. In between he turned towards realistic CGI work like The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. He is certainly a gifted man—commensurate with his talents we now witness his latest stratospheric voyage, Flight.  

Denzel Washington has geared up his best 'tude for us this time round. He plays a familiar repressed, destructive alcoholic in the same vein as Jack Lemmon, Ray Milland and Nick Cage from a long cinematic heritage of terrible drunks. In a terrifying scene he lands a jumbo jet in a church field with little loss to life on board due to superior aviation skills. However, he was .24 tanked during the crash. So if the wrong people get wind of the bad news it could be life in prison for the valiant captain. 

This may sound depressing—it is, yet the superb direction brings much levity to the fore, and thus a truly entertaining and poignant ride ensues. I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. I think it was Denzel's best film in quite a while. All the actors, however brief their appearance, did a fine job. My only quarrel would be the strange religious overtones, I'm not sure what point they were trying to make—either sacrilege or deference? Make up your own mind I guess. Anyway, my favorite kind of Hollywood cinema conflates humor and serious relational drama in an thoroughly exciting way—like David O. Russell's, The Fighter—that's exactly what you'll get here.  

Recommended Viewing: Contact - Back To The Future - Glory

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 8.5   -   The Fan: 9.0
             MetaCritic: 76
 Rotten Tomatoes: 77
                    IMDB: 7.7

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