Whip Whittaker wakes up in a hotel room with a beautiful woman. There are evident signs of a night of hard partying and Whip announces to his companion that we need to get moving we have a flight in 2 hours.
This is how we are introduced to the world of Whit Whittaker ( Denzel Washington) a brilliant pilot and a raging alcoholic.
Flight marks the return of Director Robert Zemeckis to live action film after 12 years working on stop action animation and as with Tom Hanks in his last live action film Castaway he has teamed with anther multiple Oscar winner in Washington.
After a bump of coke to get strait Whip heads to the airport for a short trip from Orlando to Atlanta. Georgia.
Whip completes his check of the plane and climbs on board to greet his companion from last night and a junior pilot in the co-pilots chair. Its bad weather outside as they get ready to take off. After a bumpy lift off the weather clears and they rest of the in air flight is uneventful until they approach Atlanta. The plane suddenly goes into a dive that they are not able to stop. Whip takes incredible action to save the plane and the majority of souls aboard.
After they land the investigation begins and Whips fitness to fly the plane comes into question. Although he performed a heroic act was he fit to be in the pilots seat in the first place. He may also be facing jail time for his actions.
As he recovers in the hospital Whip meets Nicole a heroin addict in after an overdoes. Whip gets her address and promises to come by and see her. His childhood friend Harley Mays ( John Goodman comes by bearing pharmaceutical goodies including a carton of cigarettes to get him moving again.
Whip has to meet with his union rep and former Navy buddy Charlie Anderson ( Bruce Greenwood) and lawyer Hugh Lang ( Don Cheadle) as the NTSB investigation continues. Lang can beat the toxicology report and if Whip can maintain sobriety until the hearing he should be fine. On his way home to the family farm Whip notices that he is on Nicole's block. He sees her loading her car and intervenes in a fight with her landlord. Whip takes Nicole in but is more concerned with alcohol that spending time with her.
Whip continues down his destructive path until he asks union rep Anderson for mercy and to stay with him for the nine days before the hearing. They check him into the hotel of the hearing the night before and he has to make it one night before he testifies about the circumstance of the crash.
Denzel Washington gives a commanding performance as the alcohol, drug fuelled pilot. Kelly Reilly meets Washington intensity as the Nicole the recovering heroin addict. Peter Gerety does a fantastic turn as Avington Carr the owner of the airline and John Goodman is entertaining as the childhood friend and fixer Harling Mays.
Rating *** 1/2 out of 4
Flight 2012 138 minutes U.S.A.