Flight is a righteously dark and twisted ride

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Starring Denzel Washington, John Goodman, and Don Cheadle. Rated 14A.

Aaaaah. Okay. That’s it. No one’s going to be able to get on an airplane ever again after watching this movie. Actually… Scratch that. The flying stuff in Flight is kind of like that awesome, terrible roller coaster that makes you vomit a little in your hair and then you want to ride it again.

Seriously. That was intense. The pilot toked up, hoovered some blow, and chugged stale beer before takeoff. Isn’t that the passengers’ job? And Whip Whitaker, druggie alcoholic, still bangs a sexy flight attendant (Nadine Velazquez) because he’s played by sexy Denzel Washington in a sexy pilot’s uniform. Also: he mixed a gallon of screwdrivers for himself on the plane. Hipster.

After a deeply disturbing landing, Whip is a hero. Except blood tests show he was technically too wasted to pilot even a lawn mower. People, people: at least he wasn’t texting.

Bruce Greenwood plays Whip’s pilot-union buddy; Don Cheadle is Whip’s cool-ass lawyer; Melissa Leo is a scary aviation investigator; and John Goodman is Whip’s drug dealer. Everybody is deliriously excellent. And things are righteously dark and twisted because some people want to get at the truth but most people—even “good” people—want to hide it. Shenanigans. Subterfuge. Soul-fucking. Scotch.

Whip meets sexy heroin addict Nicole (Kelly Reilly). Honestly? Damaged, pouty Nicole is worrisome. Please, please don’t turn this into Sexy Addicts: A Love Story. Okay, screenwriter John Gatins and director Robert Zemeckis totally dodge it. Phew. A sucky, self-conscious substance-abuse story would suck. Incidentally, maybe all those creepy animated movies Zemeckis has been doing helped make the airplane effects so freaky.

Right. Washington is still a genius at morally conflicted, raw, real badasses. Plus, how many times did he fall on his face? Literally. Solid gold, dude. (That’s a cheesy Oscar-nom prediction.)

Pop quiz: if a pilot flies on MDMA, does he play psytrance in a loop over the PA? Mayday! Mayday!


Watch the trailer for Flight.

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