I was really looking forward to seeing the movie “Red Tails” which was based on the story of the Tuskeegee Airmen.
I love movies that tie to history and movies that share the story of “underdogs”. Took my nap, drank my 5 hour energy drink, brought a coat inside the theatre (Hazlet was freezing).
Plus, I was bringing students from the Red Bank boys and girls club. It had all the markings of a great day/great movie.
I was shocked how badly made this movie was. There was no introductory explanation of how this program came to be, how they were trained. Bang, the movie goes right into the pilots in Italy flying missions in old, junker planes and making all sorts of dazzling air moves.
Why couldn’t they just have printed on the screen (i.e. the beginning of Star Wars just a rolling paragraph explaining the background).
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Within a short time, we get to know the pilots and the squadron leaders (Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr.).
The leaders were serious, focused, credible. The pilots were always just “playin'” – joking around, being cocky, drinking, fighting etc. They were portrayed as gifted pilots as if it was a god given ability vs serious training. As an example, in one scene, a pilot was dazzled by an aerial move made by a German pilot. He talks about it, I guess visualizes it, and then on his next mission does this amazing 360 move in the plane and kills the enemy. It made it seem like it was a snap to do this move and no training was necessary, like a basketball dunk.
Made it all look too easy, too much fun, along with being too predictable. They tried to make this a Disney type movie instead of an insightful look into history.
Then at the end before the credits, they made a short two-line summary of the success of the Tuskegee Airmen as the most successful WWII air squadron, yet the movie did little to educate us on the hardwork and dedication that must have went into being that good.
Terrible movie – totally bummed