Editor’s Rant: Everything that was wrong with the movie “Flight”

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Boredom is a disease worse than cancer, drugs and alcohol cure it…with little or no ill side effects if used as directed.  – Dough Stanhope

 

The film “Flight” directed by Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away, Death Becomes Her, Contact, Forrest Gump, The Frightners)  and starring Denzel Washington (Training Day, Man on Fire, Philadelphia, The Bone Collector, Book of Eli)   was supposed to be, a hero drama wrapped inside a subjective social commentary  about the pitfalls and self-destructive nature of addiction, Denzel portrays Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot who miraculously crash lands his plane after it suffers an in-flight mechanical failure, saving nearly everyone on board. Immediately following the crash, he’s hailed as a hero, but an investigation soon leads to questions that paints the captain in a different light.

During the investigation the lead NTSB investigator states that no other pilot was able to successfully land the flight simulation of the crash without killing everyone on board.  Just to clarify every other SOBER person would have not been able to save even one life had they been at the helm of the titular “Flight”  and in spite of having cocaine which probably kept him alert enough to fight the controls of the aircraft upside down and vodka in his system (which most likely calmed his nerves just enough to land the plane  he was able to save lives.  So my question argument with this movie is one that ironically even in the face of the obvious and glaring evidence, no one seems willing to ask is simply this…

Based on all the evidence provided, it is logical to assume that if he had not been doing drugs and alcohol that morning/afternoon, it is most likely that he would not of had been able to do what he did.  Basically, drugs and alcohol probably saved the day. (and lives)   and regardless, the fact that he was on drugs and alcohol, while not glorifying them, also cannot similarly demonize them, in a right or wrong sense.

Which brings me to my second major complaint, the ending.  I distinctly remember hearing a woman gasp out loud when after thirty seconds, he finally does grab the alcohol and begins to binge drink before the investigaation  Through out the investigation time and again, not only is there no evidence of his drug and alcohol use during that day,  every negative aspect of the crash is – through no fault or admission on his part, the investigators come to alternative conclusion on their own – but he is time and again vindicated of any wrong doing, cleared of any fault and could have walked out of the investigation unscathed, but no, he has to admit to his drug use and end up in jail through his apparent truthful tourrette syndrome out of some misplaced sense of survivors guilt.  Honesty is not the best policy is the only thing the ending proves, nothing else.  Which would be ok… but my argument is WHY ADMIT IT AT THAT MOMENT?  WHY NOT WAIT TEN MINUTES until the hearing is over and then go and admit you addiction at some AA meeting.  All the admission during the investigation does it guarantee you are going to jail, even at the end when he is telling his story to the other prisoners, they all look at him as if to say “good work dumbass, all that honesty got you was allowed you to become was my prison bitch.”

Look I am not advocating or demonizing drugs, alcohol or honesty… all I am saying is that there is a time and a place for everything and in the context of this film they were all unequivocally wrong time wrong place, ’nuff said.

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