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Strong performances lift ‘Flight’

Showtime with Sasha

POSTED: November 30, 2012 4:00 p.m.

They may serve alcohol aboard most flights, but that doesn’t mean that drinking and piloting a plane should mix.

Still, that lethal combination is at the core of the new Denzel Washington film, “Flight,” which is in theaters.

The story unfolds as a commercial airplane fails in mid-flight from Orlando to Atlanta. Only pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) can rescue the passengers from what some will later call an act of God.

Save the doomed flight, in general, is just what Whip manages to do. Trouble is, he was drunk at the time. Uh oh!

After seeing the trailer, I expected “Flight” to be more of a unique thriller type of film. Instead, the movie is a portrait of addiction, plain and simple. If I had known that beforehand, I might not have been so keen to watch “Flight,” but I’m glad I did. There are some very good performances here.

John Goodman effortlessly portrays a friendly drug peddler who would have been right at home with “The Big Lebowski.” Oh wait, he was in that movie, too, wasn’t he!?

Melissa Leo is indomitable in her small role. British actress Kelly Reilly is completely riveting as Whip’s down-and-out girlfriend (from Georgia, I might add).

Tamara Tunie and Don Cheadle round out the cast. Even Bruce Greenwood, whose role is fairly mild, seemed to be doing some of his best work.

And oddly, actor James Badge Dale puts in an Oscar-worthy performance in just one short scene where he portrays some guy in a stairwell who has cancer.

All in all, I’m a fan!

McBrayer’s column appears weekly in the Courier. Watch reviews at www.coastalcourier.com.

 

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