x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Flight: a mesmerising moral drama

Part legal battle, part addiction tale, this movie features Denzel Washington in his most compelling role in years.

Denzel Washington plays the commercial pilot Captain Whip Whitaker in Robert Zemeckis's film Flight. Paramount Pictures
Denzel Washington plays the commercial pilot Captain Whip Whitaker in Robert Zemeckis's film Flight. Paramount Pictures

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood, John Goodman
****

This engrossing drama stars Denzel Washington playing his most compelling character in years. Captain Whip Whitaker is a commercial pilot who flies his plane through a storm before all manner of mechanical problems cause him to crash-land - the sequence is even more gripping than the plane crash in Robert Zemeckis's Cast Away.

He saves all but six on board but he's also got traces of alcohol and cocaine in his system, meaning he faces jail time despite his heroics.

Part legal battle, part addiction tale, Flight is just as mesmerising on the ground as in the sky, with vibrant characters (Kelly Reilly's heroin-addict photographer; John Goodman's fixer) circulating in Whip's airspace. But Washington dominates this intriguing moral drama - he makes the audience root for a very washed-up man.