FLIGHT, from Director Robert Zemeckis, Delivers a Thrill Ride

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FLIGHT, from renowned Director Robert Zemeckis, ImageMovers and Paramount Pictures, presents a fast action, turbulent, terrifying, thrill ride through every air traveler’s worst nightmare and the intersections of life and death.

Produced by Steven Starkey, Zemeckis, and Jack Rapky, FLIGHT stars Denzel Washington, Bruce Greenwood, Don Cheadle,  Brian Geraghty, Tamara Tunie, Nadine Velazquez, Kelly Reilly and John Goodman. FLIGHT was written by John Gatins and scored by Alan Silvestri.

FLIGHT takes the audience inside that of a doomed airliner. Beginning with mild turbulence the skilled, and unbeknownst to all, alcoholic and drug addicted pilot Whip Whitaker played by Denzel Washington, manages to find a sweet spot in the middle of the storm and as he explains to his less than experienced co-pilot, played by THE HURT LOCKER’S Brian Geraghty, they are “threading the needle” and proceed to maneuver the damned plane between two massive and violent thunderstorms; almost into the eye of the storm. As they begin to descend all hell breaks loose and the inexperienced and by the book co-pilot is waiting for permission to continue life-saving measures.

Prepare for a crash landing, evasive maneuvers performed by the highly skilled, competent and qualified pilot are put in place and Whip Whitaker glides the plane into a cornfield after rolling it to create lag and slow the speed of decent.

With any commercial jet crash, media and the NTSB show up in mass. Investigations, questions, answers, details, hearings, owners, and expensive lawyers all overshadow the facts. Six deaths, culpability, six wrongful death lawsuits, evidence, piecing the plane together in a hanger with every inch and all contents accounted.

Denzel Washington embodied, with unbelievable precision, a sober drunk. His character has a reverse arch traveling from an alcoholic so deeply dependent that a fifth of vodka is life: he lives to drink and drinks to live to admission of a problem only after tragedy cost him love, and life. For Whip Whitaker the amount of alcohol he needs to be visibly drunk is unbelievable and I suppose the truest statement of the film would be when Whitaker explains, “You don’t have to tell me how to lie about my drinking.” Like any addict he is a master at it.

Don Cheadle plays the expensive lawyer, Hugh Lang, hired by the pilot’s union and in his first five minutes he reaches into his bag of corporate law firm tricks, shifts blame and stops evidence. Cheadle personifies the corporate attorney. He is crisp, sharp, and expensive. He is lawsuits dream or nightmare.

John Goodman plays Harling Mays, the bad ass drug supplier friend. He is a “when the money’s over the party’s over” type of friend. Goodman gives a stand out, scene stealing performance as Lang/Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood who plays Charlie Anderson, the pilot’s union rep, are all trying to sober Whip up after a night of hellacious bingeing  brought on by the government dirty tricks team.

The entire cast, including Flight Attendants played by Tamara Tunie and Nadine Velazquez and, fellow addict and love interest, Kelly Reilly give outstanding performances.

Director Robert Zemeckis has created a stunning, vividly accurate portrayal of both a physical crash and the subsequent life crash brought on by the trauma and investigation. Zemeckis is so highly skilled and gifted as a director and once again proves it. He somehow creates a likeable character, in Washington’s Whitaker, amid all the addiction and denial.  

Denzel Washington seems to stand out in the performances that are not an easy reach. It seems, when he is cast opposite of type when the character is a little harder to reach the audience is given a glimpse into a deeper place. FLIGHT’S Whip Whitaker is one of those roles.

Director Robert Zemeckis won Director of the Year for FLIGHT by the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Denzel Washington has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in FLIGHT. Supporting Actor John Goodman for his performance in FLIGHT has won the Spotlight Award. FLIGHT has been nominated for numerous other awards. FLIGHT blows you away!

FLIGHT is in theaters everywhere. Check your local listings for times.

For more information:  www.paramount.com/flight/

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