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Imperfect ‘Flight’ movie still flies high

By Sister Helena Burns, FSP | Contributor
Sunday, November 18, 2012

Drama is not dead! The new Denzel Washington movie “Flight” is living proof.

Although the enticing trailer portrays the film accurately, the film about the aftermath of a plane crash itself is not perfect. It’s very good, but too long and lacking in consistency. After an incredibly filmed, tense-to-beat-the-band action sequence, and a graceful reveal of the full weight of the brilliant-but-addicted pilot’s (Denzel Washington) predicament, there are slow scenes filled with nothing but exposition that could have been eliminated or shortened.

Caveat: The film begins with many minutes of mid-range and close-up fullfrontal female nudity. This seemingly minor character does become more significant toward the end of the film. Are we supposed to feel closer to her because we saw every part of her body (and very little of her face)? Are we supposed to feel that Carter, Washington’s character, was close to her because he saw every part of her body? But their relationship seems to be nothing more than casual sex.

The in-your-face nudity was shocking and not pertinent to the story. We would get it without the nudity: The boozy pilot is leading a dissolute life. You can always check the “why” of the MPAA rating on www.fandango.com. Here’s what it says for “Flight”: “Rated R for intense action sequence, drug and alcohol abuse, language and sexuality/nudity. Information for parents: Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16-plus.”

Caveat: If you do not care to hear the F-word more times than Carter has pills, you may wish to restrain and refrain from “Flight.”

Caveat: If you object to massive amounts of substance abuse of every kind — sometimes with a possible takeaway of: “I can use. Heavily. And still lead a pretty normal life. And pull myself together when I need to. And look gorgeous. And function well enough in society. And still get the girl. And still get the guy. ”— you may wish to refrain from “Flight.”

“Flight” is out of the gates with a bang, then simmers, then cools off. What is the film about? Blame, lying and addiction.

All of this being said, “Flight” is a total God movie. God is everywhere. Explicitly. He’s always bubbling just below the surface, popping up in every conceivable religious image, humble believer, church steeple, spontaneous prayer, random discussion, etc. “Where was God in this tragedy?” is the resounding subtext and is dealt with from many angles.