Before going any further, I must confess addiction films are one of the four types of movies I, personally, do not like to see.
That being said, what is right about this film is, first of all, Kelly Reilly, who you may have seen in Sherlock Holmes as Watson’s fiancée and wife in the sequel. Second of all, it’s Reilly’s portrayal of Nicole, the character who has the guts to leave Denzel’s character “Whip” and go into rehab to overcome drug addiction.
The third bit of goodness is John Goodman’s portrayal of Harling Mays, the go-to man for drugs, who injects a bit of fun into this somber affair as he takes over the screen whenever he appears.
What’s wrong about this film is, first of all, the casting of Kelly Reilly, who is much too beautiful and well-coifed to be in her character Nicole’s life situation. Even for a drug addict, and despite her great acting, it was just too unbelievable.
The second problem is Denzel Washington’s Captain Whip Whitaker whose arc goes from Functioning Alcoholic to Raging, Out-Of-Control Alcoholic to Recovering Alcoholic all too quickly, suggesting alcoholism is not physically or genetically based, but is purely a psychological condition. While some, like me, might agree, even I could not accept the fast switches.Finally, does anyone know of a Hyatt or any large hotel chain that would not have a key-lock on a room refrigerator full of dozens of bottles of high-end liquor? It's this kind of fakery that highlighted the unbelievalbe character arc and the weakness of the script.
Flight follows the pack of well-acted films about characters we don’t care about. Whitaker gets off much too easily.
My suggestion would be to leave after the fabulous plane crash scene, find a picture of Kelly Reilly on the internet and toast her with a drink of your choice.
I’m giving Flight a 3 out of 5 for those of you who like stories of this ilk.