FLIGHT directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by John Gatins, with Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman and Bruce Greenwood. A Paramount Pictures release. 139 minutes. Opens Friday (November 2). For venues and times, see Movies.
Flight marks Robert Zemeckis's first live-action film after a 12-year sojourn in the land of motion-capture animation. And for good or ill, the director of Forrest Gump and Cast Away hasn't missed a step: Flight is as visually accomplished as anything he made in the 90s. It's also just as heavy handed.
This addiction drama stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, a hard-drinking, harder-drugging commercial pilot whose intoxication doesn't stop him from landing a crippled plane with minimal casualties - but proves a massive problem in the investigation that follows the crash.
Zemeckis uses Washington's snappish persona brilliantly - the actor's tics now seem like a desperate man's attempts to deflect and evade - but the drama is rendered thuddingly obvious through soundtrack choices that make sure we don't miss each new metaphor or plot point.