Monday, February 04, 2013

FLIGHT Crashes and Burns

FLIGHT never really takes off after the crash sequence in the first act of the film. In fact, the opening sequence pretty much sums up how incompetent a movie this is. Zemeckis's idea of an adult scene is to make the woman naked, and frame it so her head is cut off in most of the scene. This is not some throwaway character, she winds up being a turning point in the denouement, and this is as complicated as her character gets.

Denzel is a fine actor but is wasted on this maudlin one-dimensional script. He plays a functional drunk passably, but the real gold standard for movie drunks will always be Jack Lemon in THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES. LEAVING LAS VEGAS is also very good, but the book is much better, and is really an autobiography of a suicidal alcoholic. This movie clearly does not understand the disease as well. But a much bigger issue is the lack of depth in the writing. Everyone is one-dimensional; the religious co-pilot, the recovering girlfriend who appears and disappears for no apparent reason in the screenplay, the uncaring lawyer. These are all cliches. And why bring up religion at all unless you are really going to discuss it, as LIFE OF PI (review here)  did?

The crash sequence is done very well, and the sound design is excellent. But otherwise, this is a made-for-tv quality film.
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