Paramount Pictures’ dramatic thriller “Flight,” stars Denzel Washington as Captain Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. Afterwards, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, more questions than answers arise as to who or what was really at fault and what really happened on that plane. Paramount Pictures presents “Flight,” directed by Robert Zemeckis. Produced by Parkes/MacDonald Production’s Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, and ImageMovers’ Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, and Jack Rapke. The executive producer is Cherylanne Martin. Original screenplay by John Gatins. Photography is Don Burgess, ASC. Production Designer is Nelson Coates. Costume Designer is Louise Frogley. Special Effects Supervisor is Michael Lantieri. Effects Supervisor is Kevin Baillie. Edited by Jeremiah O’Driscoll. The film stars Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Melissa Leo, Brian Geraghty, Tamara Tunie, Nadine Velazquez, and James Badge Dale.
“Flight” presents the first pairing of Academy Award® winners Denzel Washington and director Robert Zemeckis, who marks his return to live-action dramatic storytelling after years of success on the forefront of directing and producing movies utilizing motion capture technology. “Flight” is distributed by Paramount Pictures.
On a mid-Autumn morning, SouthJet 227 departs Orlando, Florida for what should be a routine trip. Captain Whip Whitaker is at the helm of the Jackson-Ridgefield 88 Passenger Jet along with his young clean-cut co-pilot and first officer Ken Evans, who is Whip’s polar opposite in every way. The flight soon encounters heavier-than-anticipated turbulence as they fly into a massive storm. Not a problem for Whip who steers the plane into the clearing, albeit in an unconventional and eyebrow raising way, to the relief of the flight’s 96 passengers and six members of the flight crew.
But that’s when things start to go really wrong. Abruptly, the pilots encounter a series of inexplicable mechanical malfunctions, causing the plane to rock and dip and shudder like a rollercoaster. As these breakdowns began to multiply, causing the plane to spiral downward and seemingly out of the pilots’ control, Whip decides that his only recourse to maintain a level altitude is to maneuver the 50-ton plane into a barrel roll and complete inversion, which will allow it to glide without its engines until he can right the plane and land it. Within minutes, unable to make it to the airport, flying the plane just a few hundred feet off the ground, Whip finds a patch of nearby land adjacent to a church where he can attempt his landing. At 140 miles per hour, he inverts the aircraft and brings it down. The impact is shattering, but Whip, in an incredible, ingenious stroke, calmly manages to land safely enough to save all but six of the one hundred and two souls on board.
For his miraculous landing, the media hails Whip as a hero. But, there are lingering questions. The cause of the crash isn’t entirely clear to his superiors and particularly to the NTSB, although Whip is quite sure had he not been in the cockpit, the plane would have nose-dived and all its passengers would surely be dead. Nonetheless aninvestigation ensues.
As the query drags on, Whip is literally grounded as he struggles with his considerable demons. Convinced that his actions saved the passengers on-board, he is equally certain that his personal issues are not all that extraordinary and certainly had no bearing on the crash. Old and new allies rally around him. His friend and union representative Charlie Anderson takes on his case, as does the canny, sincere lawyer Hugh Lang. Whip’s droll pal Harling Mays is also around for support, if not always the moral kind. Along the way, Whip meets a kindred spirit, Nicole. A down-on-her-luck photographer and recovering substance abuser, Nicole may be just what Whip needs. If only Whip could figure out exactly what that is.
“Flight” tells a harrowing story about one man’s amazing, heroic feat and how, in the process of defending himself, he discovers his true grace and valor.
Nadine Velazquez, Denzel Washington and Carter Cabassa
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