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Unleashed Speaks…on Flight


Flight (2012)

I am a huge fan of Denzel Washington. I know a lot of ladies go crazy over his good looks, but I find his acting ability enthralling.

One of my favorite movies is Malcolm X; I actually believed he was Malcolm; he embodied the mannerisms, the whole nine. It really took me in.

He’s able to evoke so many reactions, especially when he takes on roles where his character is cast in a conflicting or negative light. He was a beast in Training Day.  I disliked his character so much but I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.  When he was ranting about being “King Kong” and his character finally met his match, I found myself cheering.

I admit, I didn’t read up on the synopsis of Flight.

Sometimes, I do not, simply because some sites give away the meat of the movie. I don’t want the meat given away, just parts of the bread and the toppings.

From appearances, it seems like a movie about a man who is a great pilot, if you didn’t read anything about the synopsis.  You get drawn in by the plane action.

But if you are looking for lots of flight scenes….on this one, I will burst your bubble because it may determine whether you will want to see the movie.

Simply because, the flight scene doesn’t last very long, and once that scene is over with, you’re not going to have any more instances where there is flying.  It doesn’t qualify as an in your face action movie, per se.

However, it goes deeper than the Flight.

The Flight exposes more underlying, disturbing issues, and it is those issues which keeps one’s eyes glued to the film.

The film starts off with something I’m sure a few men can relate to—arguing with the ex-wife as it pertains to monies for her son’s private school tuition. Denzel’s character (Whip) promises to come through with the money, but not without citing that “he’s my son now that you want some tuition money.”

On the surface, you feel for Whip since she’s giving him a hard time, but a couple of minutes afterwards, one almost wants to snatch the sympathy away.


I was not prepared for the first “coke scene”. (and no, I don’t mean Coca Cola)

It caught me off guard and disturbed me. On the same token, my attention was instantly captivated. Pilot of a plane, snorting coke before a flight.

Personally, I don’t see how anyone can shoot anything up one’s nose. I can’t even do nasal sprays. I don’t like anything up my nose involuntarily, and I wouldn’t do it voluntarily.

Same thing goes for Nicole (played by Kelly Reilly), another character in the movie. Her drug of choice is heroin, and she’s more of a shooter than a snorter.


My expression…

I have a great disdain for needles; I even hate when I’m getting blood drawn, so I know I couldn’t be a heroin addict…not ever.

Her bad choice lands her in the hospital, which is how Nicole and Whip meet each other.  There’s also a patient there suffering from cancer and there’s this very interesting dialogue concerning God.

But I’m getting slightly ahead of myself.

In the cockpit, there is an interesting dynamic between Whip (the more experienced pilot) and Ken (the more novice pilot). When the plane was experiencing turbulence at the beginning of the flight, Ken was quite nervous while Whip (still under the influence of coke along with alcohol) seemed to be in control and quite capable of calling the shots. After the plane got through the turbulence, Whip opted to take a nap while the rookie flew the rest of the flight.

Towards the end, Ken lost control of the flight. Whip woke up and was able to do an amazing feat with the plane to land it. Six lives were lost, but it could have been so much worse. Whip was declared a hero and that it was a miracle how he landed the plane without killing everyone. He ended up in the hospital and Ken ended up in a coma. He meets up with Nicole shortly before he is released from the hospital.

Trying to stay away from the public’s eye, he goes to an old house and field that his dad used to own. He took out all of the alcohol he had and discards all of it.

lotsofbottlesWhen one sees the amount of bottles, you can kind of grasp that Whip has a problem with alcohol. Either that or he has enough liquor saved up to supply people if there’s ever an alcohol shortage.

In my heart, I applauded him. Sometimes, it does take almost a near death experience to get you to fly right. (didn’t mean to pun here but it fits)

However, the applause is short lived.

Once an investigation is launched into what factors caused the dysfunction of the plane, things are discovered that take the shine off Whip being a hero.

The attorney, Hugh Lang (played by Don Cheadle), gives Whip a heads up on what’s to come. However, he says he can make certain damaging information go away.

Instead of this knowledge being motivation for Whip to stay clean, he spirals out of control and begins using alcohol heavily again. Along the way, he encounters Nicole and offers her a place to stay after she has to leave her formal place of residence.

I really like the dynamic shown. For Nicole, Whip’s place represents a fresh start, a clean slate. She is able to focus more on her passion, and she is able to stay on track in staying clean. Whip tends to get worse as time goes on until she has to make a tough decision for herself—a choice between her love for Whip and her love for self and her sobriety.

After the incident with Nicole, the rest of the movie is based on the findings and keeping Whip in the clear of any wrong doing, but it is what happens at the end of the movie that changes the tide. It makes you wonder if you would have done the same thing if in Whip’s shoes.

This movie is not for you if:
1. You expected an action movie involving lots of flying.
2. If you have a problem with any movie with excessive drug or alcohol use.
3. If you expected a clean, happy ever after type feel. (If I tell the ending, then that will give away the movie. But I will tell you the ending isn’t a tidy one.)
4. You expected Denzel to play a “clean cut” or “hero” type guy. This isn’t like Unstoppable, but it’s not like Training Day, either. In short, it’s a man trying to fight his demons in the best way possible.
5. You care nothing about complex characters.
6. You are thrown off by any implied or obvious conversations pertaining to religion or God.

However, this movie is for you if:
1. You want to see solid acting. All of the actors, particularly Denzel and Don, put on a wonderful performance.
2. You want the reality of what it’s like to deal with an alcoholic or a drug addict.
3. If you can relate to any of the scenarios.
4. You like seeing Denzel play a role that isn’t “clean cut”.
5. You want to see a movie that goes beyond the flight scene.
6. You like seeing complex characters and the types of feelings they can invoke. I know for me, I had a mixture of sadness, anger, and admiration when it came to Whip. Sadness because of his struggle; anger because he resisted admitting he had a problem for so long, and admiration because of the way he flew the plane and saved lives. I also struggled with how to feel about Hugh—I admired his savvy but didn’t agree with the way he was trying to help Whip. However, Hugh was doing what an excellent lawyer is supposed to do.
7. You can appreciate the dialogue regarding God and/or religion.
8. You are surprised at John Goodman’s portrayal as the friend/coke dealer.

Overall, I recommend that you go see the movie. The Oscar nomination he got for Best Performance for an Actor in a Leading Role is well deserved.


About nolabels

I have an appreciation for the unique, love for all types of art, and fierce attractions to brilliant intellectuals (from book smarts to street smarts). Lover of humanity but feel humans have lost their way, just trying to stay true to myself as conformity threatens to take me away. Simply one head, many crowns: Author. Reviewer. Columnist.

3 comments on “Unleashed Speaks…on Flight

  1. Pingback: The Review Board (Speaks on Flight) | No Labels…Unleashed

  2. Pingback: Unleashed Speaks on R&B Divas: Atlanta | The Review Board

  3. Pingback: When a Blog Turns Into a Review: R&B Divas-Atlanta | No Labels…Unleashed

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This entry was posted on January 30, 2013 by in movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Screening Dates

January 2013
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