The Robert Zemeckis film Flight is a solid production that portrays how humans can use almost every means possible to flee from the truth. The fact that the film starring Denzel Washington and Kelly Riley involves aspects of aviation could be argued is a merely a coincidence.
When compared against Zemeckis’ best serious works – Forest Gump, Contact, Cast Away – or high energy adventures – Used Cars, Romancing The Stone, Back To The Future, Flight ranks as good but not superb. This may be simply because the roles and performance by the lead character’s in Flight overwhelm the back-story and supporting characters. And, all of Zemeckis’ best works have a wonderful back-story accompanied by a plethora of strong roles and performances by supporting characters.
The film industry has tried to present stories about addiction and its possible implications a number of times and ways. Flight presents how two people deal with and or run away from the truth about an addiction to alcohol and drugs in a credible fashion.
However, I feel 2011’s Shame (Sex) starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan or 1988’s Clean and Sober (Drug and Alcohol) starring Michael Keaton, Kathy Baker and Morgan Freeman or 1997’s Crash (Accidents) by David Cronenburg starring James Spader, Holly Hunter, Deborah Kara Unger and Rosanna Arquette are more compelling and leave a more lasting impact than Flight. It could be argued that these three examples are simply too harsh to the point of being disturbing (all left me unnerved for at least a week after viewing) and Flight is actually more effective because it provides more of a Hollywood feel good ending.
I do believe one great take away from Flight is highly compelling and true to life. People like the character’s portrayed by Washington and Riley do not view themselves as victims and understand they made the choice to address the addiction before it was made for them. They understand their previous actions may leave some situations and relationship beyond repair, but reparation of themselves is occurring and may extend to others in their life.