Whip lands the plane in what his peers, superiors, the public call a miracle. He’s hailed a hero because only four of 106 die in the crash landing, but Whip isn’t off the hook. When admitted to the hospital, his blood was drawn and tested and his hair was snipped and examined for drugs and alcohol. The results cause Whip professional and personal problems that put him under the watchful public eye. Two empty airline-size bottles of vodka are found in the a bin only Whip and the crew had access to. Because of turbulence, beverage service had been suspended on the flight, making the empty bottles even more mysterious. Will Whip reveal what he knows or will he throw his dead friend under the metaphorical bus?
Whip has to face other issues he’s veiled himself from behind a wall of drugs and anger: his ex-wife only contacts him when she wants money. His son doesn’t get in touch at all. Katerina (Nadine Velazquez) his partying friend is dead. Whip meets Nicole (Kelly Reilly), an addict in recovery after an accidental OD, at the hospital and the two form an unlikely friendship. While this relationship gave some insight to the depth of Whip’s disease, the character of Nicole doesn’t anchor strongly in the plot. There isn’t investigation as to why Whip turned to drugs and alcohol, which would have given his character more insight but it didn’t occur to me until afterwards.
Flight is compelling. You see the scheming that goes on behind the scenes when big business stands to lose a lot of money and how deep pockets can erase medical records, skew evidence and disprove facts. Washington delivers an honest portrayal for which he was deservingly nominated for an Oscar. He may not have taken that prize but he does Flight right.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Run time: 138 minutes