In my view, Denzel is the most reliable actor going and he’s in top form here. This movie is not what I expected, it’s darker and more depressing than I gathered from the previews and it comes with a healthy dose of family carnage. I mean that in a good way – you know my obsession with family carnage.
I guess I think all American films are happy-like, so I went in to this thinking that Denzel’s character was going to be the hero in a bucking the system type of story, but it’s so much deeper than that. My inclinations were dispelled in the first scene when a drunk pilot (Washington) does a line of cocaine to clear his mind before heading to the airport to pilot a plane from Orlando to Atlanta.
Admittedly, I don’t know any cocaine addicts. Heck, I’m not even sure I know any drunks. And I certainly don’t know anyone who is both. I could tell I think. Maybe not. Regardless, I think Denzel nailed the drunk coke head, especially the drunk part.
My most tangible comparison for good film drunks is probably Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) from The Wire. I’m watching season five right now and West does a great job, but sometimes I’ll look at Jimmy and think, “You ain’t drunk man, that’s a fake stumble.”
Not so with Denzel; he was drunk, trashed, $#!tface. There was no doubt.
Addicts lie and the lies pile up in this movie. I felt this coming to a head and the tension was palpable. I even predicted, in my mind, what the most difficult lie to tell would be. It wasn’t hard to call certain big plot elements, but that didn’t make it any less riveting when they happened.
The climactic scene was perfect. And John Goodman, wow, he was also perfect in a small part with big effect. Great flick.