Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flight movie review.

Robert Zemeckis has got to have one of the oddest careers in Hollywood. Known for his much respected live action films like Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, he's spent the last twelve years specializing in films entirely made through motion capture. He makes his return to live action with Flight, a movie that centers on an airplane pilot under investigation after a drastic plane accident, where he saved the lives of 96 people on board, but was discovered to have alcohol in his system at the time of the flight. This guy's got to be the best drunk driver ever...

Flight is the kind of movie that doesn't get to be made often, and Zemeckis intends to treat it in the best way he can. This is certainly his most stylistically restrained film yet, as he wants to place more focus on the writing. Screenwriter John Gatins was inspired to write this film due to his own history of addiction, and he confronts these issues head on. He also takes time to examine the balance between what happens as a result of the hands of God, and what happens as a result of man's hand, but not always very well. The narrative and pacing still have their uneven tendencies...

...but when you get down to it, this is an actor's showcase. The main role is perfect for Denzel Washington, who has unfortunately spent the last few years in sub-par action films. Here, he's allowed to release his full talents. His character can be sympathized with just as much as he can be detested. Washington never overplays or underplays one or the other. Both elements work hand in hand to excellent effect. Credit should also go to co-star Kelly Reilly, wonderful in a sympathetic role that works well with Washington's more unpredictable nature, and that's what really makes this movie take flight.

***1/2 / *****

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