DENZEL Washington is both the hero and the villain in his latest movie Flight.
The Oscar-winner is in top form in the dramatic thriller about pilot Whip Whitaker, who comes under scrutiny after he narrowly averts a plane crash.
The experienced pilot miraculously avoids disaster by turning his plane upside down to stop an uncontrolled dive and is initially hailed as a hero.
But as the investigation begins, he quickly comes under fire for his obvious alcoholism, which escalates out of control as the pressure mounts.
He promises his closest friends, and more importantly his lawyer (Don Cheadle), that he will quit drinking, but a decades-long dependence is never that easy to shake.
Flight is an examination of addiction - the crash landing is merely the catalyst for Whip's self-destruction and eventual redemption.
It raises the question - does one seemingly impossible phenomenon performed either by skill or pure luck make up for deliberate recklessness?
Cheadle is great as the lawyer who doesn't like his client, but nonetheless does everything he can to keep him out of jail.
It is unclear why John Goodman, who plays Whip's friend/cocaine dealer, is stuck in the '60s - both in his dress sense and choice in music - but it makes for a great soundtrack.
Using alcohol to numb the fallout from his divorce and nonexistent relationship with his son, Whip is a truly flawed character and Washington deserves his Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
Flight is currently in theatres.
- Stars: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, John Goodman, Melissa Leo.
- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- Rating: MA 15+
- Verdict: 3.5/5 stars
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