At this point, if you mention Robert Zemeckis around movie people you will probably see a strong positive reaction. After all, he brought directed Back To The Future, Forrest Gump, and Cast Away.
So when news came out of his new movie, Flight, one of his first R rated picture which he claims will be his darkest movie ever, it obviously had a lot of hype.
“Uhh, we seem to be turning. Yep. Gravity is a bitch.”
The hype doesn’t die with the trailer, which makes it seem pretty amazing and dramatic. A pilot, Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is able to use his instincts to crash land a plane with very few casualties. Not only that, but the same conditions were run with different pilots in simulators, and each and every one of them crashed and burned. Whip Whitaker is a hero! However, he had some alcohol in his system, so he might be facing legal trouble. The trailer makes it seem like this is a story about a hero who is being used as a scapegoat by a big corporation, despite saving almost a hundred lives!
Turns out the trailer is very misleading. The movie earns its R rating right away by giving not only full frontal female nudity, but also cocaine use. Whip Whitaker is not only an alcoholic, but an illegal drug user and cigarette smoker to boot. He was very unfit to fly, but it was still not the cause of the eventual accident.
Instead of a false manhunt, this movie is more about doing whatever possible to protect the pilot from getting reprimanded, despite the serious problems in his life. After the crash he decides to quit drinking, bu that only lasts about a day. He feels sorry for himself and pushes away the ones he loves. This movie also features John Goodman as his dealer/best friend, Don Cheadle as his criminal attorney, Bruce Greenwood as his union representative, Nadine Velazquez as a flight attendant, and Kelly Reilly as a heroin addict he meets in the hospital.
Band aids are the classiest facial accessory you can bring to a hearing.
Outside of the misleading trailer, the rest of the movie was a big “meh” fest. There was a lot of religious talk in the film, because that is usually what happens after a large disaster. However, the entire focus of the movie is on Whip and his drinking problem. That is literally the only thing people care about (and only because of the legal trouble he faces). Once again, drinking becomes the worst thing to ever a person can do, while completely ignoring his smoking and cocaine use. A similar point was driven home with Seven Psychopaths, but at least then it was in a hilarious way.
Personally, I don’t drink at all, never have, never really plan to. Just never had an interest. I get annoyed when it seems the majority of my friends prefer to drink in every possible social setting, but hey, it’s their choice and I will fight for their right to. The movie is actually a giant walking ad for AA, which I also feel is one of the worst transgressors of Separation of Church and State in America. The 12 step programs all feature acknowledging one’s own weaknesses and putting your life in a higher power.
The film also had a problem in that the ending was entirely predictable as soon as they first went to an AA meeting halfway through the movie. I knew how the hearing would play out, and no longer cared about the him as he continued to dig himself into a hole. Denzel Washington did however act amazingly in this movie, it just wasn’t enough to justify the over two hour propaganda fest that I had to sit through.
2 out of 4.