Julie and I went to see this film today, and after it was over, I asked her what she thought about it. Her reply? “Heavy.”
And that kind of sums up the tone of the film. Denzel Washington plays a flawed pilot who has alcohol and cocaine dependence issues. Okay, the guy is a drunk. Yet, despite this, he was able to keep his cool and land a jet with mechanical problems — saving the lives of most of those on board.
The major arc is about his struggles with The Drink, his relationship with a woman who is a recovering junk user, his desire to keep the truth of his alcoholism out of the official record of the crash, and his frayed relationship with his son and ex-wife.
Washington was terrific in the role. Playing against type, he brings the desperation, the dependence, and, yes, the drunken demeanor of a boozer to life on the screen–complete with conflict that plagues him every day.
Yes, it’s a heavy movie, but one that is quite satisfying in the end. But as Jaws made a lot of folks afraid to swim in the ocean, Flightwill make you afraid to fly.