Our Final Draft
Joshua Schulz on the Revisionist Narrative of Christian Hope
In the 2012 film Flight, Denzel Washington plays a pilot named Whip Whitaker, who, while experiencing the catastrophic mechanical failure of a commercial aircraft carrying over one hundred souls, does what looks to be courageous: he calmly guides his crew and the mangled plane to a crash landing that saves all but a few passengers. When the wing flaps controlling the jet's altitude get stuck in a position that drives the plane towards the ground, Whitaker inverts the aircraft so he can control its descent until he can put it down in a field. It is an amazing feat of technical prowess.
After the crash, many call Whip a hero. As the film continues, however, we learn that the meaning and value of his actions inthe aircraft are not so straightforward. The movie clearly and painfully portrays Whip as a late-stage alcoholic, a compulsive liar, and an absentee father. We see him deliberately using his friends, family, and lovers as props for his addiction until he has alienated everyone but his coke dealer. His character is incontinent bordering on vicious.
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