You know what they say “When your movie starts with tit, you’re in fer some shit.”
Yes yes yes…the rumors are true! The first real shot in this film is IN FACT A TIT! My name is Koutch, Koutch-BOOM, and that’s all I’m going to say about that opening. After all, this is BOB FUCKIN’ ZEMECKIS…showing the world he’s not fucking dead! Let the magician keep his tricks unspoiled. We owe that much to him. You should all go into this blindly, as I did, really…this wasn’t the film I expected. It’s a film about alcoholism. The plane crash just shaves the baseline. Look up the writer to get more of an idea of what I’m layin’ down. If you think about it, it makes sense. Bob has never made cookie-cutter films. He’s always been difficult to place. He’s never had a formula. His work usually revolves around something BIG, built around the human condition. He likes to cover fairly dark subjects, but he comes at it from an interesting angle and keeps things fresh. If you think about it, functioning alcoholism and plane crashes….right up his alley.
Now the biggest take-away I got from this film was the realism. Not so much the acting, I’m talkin’ about the sets, costumes, production design, etc. It’s pretty crazy. When you watch a film, you immediately pick out what’s a real hospital and what’s a set. With a real-world based story, there’s a spotlight on the artificiality. In Flight, everything pops with realism, even details as minute as the grime in the plane interior. The apartment complex where Denzel goes to pick up his druggie girlfriend he met at the hospital looked like an actual shithole slum, not some plastic Hollywood projection of a shithole slum where there’s a pool half-filled and some loser hanging out downstairs. This is a place where seedy shit goes down, but its not stereotypical. It’s interesting, Robert Zemeckis, a guy that’s spent the better part of a decade struggling to bring a sense of reality to mo-cap animation finally returns to live-action and thrives in a reality based setting by giving us something that feels entirely authentic and raw.
Ire always told me mate Bob to werk with Denzel, he don’t like ta muck about like you.
Now listen, Bob has never been one to shy away from a strong brand presence in his work. This also adds to the realism. We see brands and logos and ad placement 24/7, and unless a film is going for some surreal alternate reality, whenever you DON’T see a known brand label on a product or billboard, it feels artificial. It’s actually the opposite of what most would assume. But to pretend this stuff doesn’t exist in our world is false and disingenuous and Zemeckis has always understood that and embraced it. In Flight, we see brands left and right. Namely alcohol companies, which was a little weird because it seems like most films go out of their way to make all booze brands look like some generic/fake cartoonish thing, as if this stuff doesn’t really exist in our world, it’s just this fanciful elixir we’ll never actually encounter. It’s funny, all these brands…like beer companies that have empty cans strewn throughout the film, why would they get behind a movie about alcoholism? IDK. Maybe it’s sorta like that shit cigarette companies paying for TRUTH ads. What’s the fucking deal?
Anyway, as for the movie itself….well, as I said, it’s not exactly what I was expecting. I mean, I realized it deals with alcoholism to some extent, but I don’t think I came in expecting to sit through an AA introduction speech. I honestly don’t know what someone who’s never looked at an alcoholic drink in their life and had to take a second to think would take from this, I mean other than spending 2 hours marveling at Denzel’s majestic quivering lip. To be fair to Bobby Z., it is interesting to make a film about alcoholism, and portray the lead as a successful man, a high-functioning drunk who’s an airline pilot who becomes a hero. It was a nice change of pace. We don’t usually see those kind of characters. Generally things are more black and white. If a character is a drunk/addict, he has to be an absolute failure. It was nice to see a functioning person with a problem that was begot from the problem not from some deep seated issue. And again, that’s a credit to Bob’s thirst for authenticity. The issue here for me was the back-and-forth we see Denzel go through….he’s drinking, then quitting, then drinking, then quitting. It’s one big jerk-off, which is fine…if the build leads to a decent pop, but the final conclusion doesn’t really hammer it home. The big redemption scene just isn’t enough, mainly because Denzel was such an interesting guy up until that point, we sorta just want him to keep chugging. The “decision” scene when he goes for that last bottle even though he knows he shouldn’t; oddly, the shot of his hand looked CGI. A documentary on the production of this damn thing would be fascinating, especially considering it may be the cheapest film Bob’s ever made.
How often did Denzel have to remind this fucker he had Chewatel’s number on speed dial?
As for the soft ending….yeah, when I drove home thinking back on it, unless someone has their own drinking problem or has been in direct contact with someone who did, I just don’t know what people would pull from this. Does the film look great? Fuck yeah…it’s Zemeckis, come on. But really, it leaves you kinda confused and just makes you wanna fucking drink. The Mace Windu motherfuckers in the movie do a fine job, and they are good Mace Windus that know their supporting role and don’t think their 5 minute presence is tantamount to the film’s success, but GOD DAAAAAAMN, Goodman, Cheadle and James Badge gave the movie some much needed pep. Even Cheadle’s fucking document folder felt real!!!
In the end, it’s good to see Bobby Z. back, and this film does get me excited to see what else he has up his sleeve. For awhile it’s felt like he’s been sitting back watching that little Reitman fuck try to nail the landing, and continually fail. It’s about time a cinema wizard with wicked hair-plugs show that boy how it’s done.
Dickblood’s older brother Ronald, during his time as a Key Grip on the set of The Flintstones.