Friday, January 20, 2012

Movie Review: "Red Tails"

George Lucas's long gestating film about the Tuskegee Airmen finally made its way to the silver screen.  While Lucas only has an executive producing credit on the film, Red Tails (named for the red-painted tails of the Tuskegee Airmens' planes) has much in common with George Lucas's Star Wars films.  Rather than delivering a Saving Private Ryan, Lucas, alongside producing partner, Rick McCallum, and director Anthony Hemingway, often slight the history to create a film that is pure entertainment.  Red Tails is reminiscent of the war films from the Golden Age of Hollywood.  Propagandist in a sense.  It's heroic, pulpy, and chock full of adventure.  It does not paint the Germans as human beings, but as soulless bad guys.  In many ways, the film simply pales in comparison to modern day war films, where filmmakers are now more interested in representing the psychological and human issues that war brings than trying to represent the daring courage and heroism of the military.  Even if Red Tails features stock characters we've seen a hundred times before, it's a fun, action-packed adventure.  While I do hope that someday a historically accurate, and thought provoking film about the Tuskegee Airmen will finally be made, for now, Red Tails will entertain, but not necessarily inform.

I give Red Tails a D

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