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Friday, January 20, 2012

RED TAILS Movie Review By: RAMA

RED TAILS Movie Review

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This could be THE inspiring movie to honor Tuskegee airmen, those brave fighter pilots, this has so much potential but unfortunately RED TAILS’ weak script and mediocre direction doesn’t allow the film to achieve greatness. It’s good that somebody managed to bring this important true historical story to the big screen, I commend director Anthony Hemingway, producer George Lucas, screenwriters John Ridley and Aaron McGruder for doing that but I think RED TAILS could be a better film without any of their involvement..

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight – a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses – Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy – and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long

I’d have to agree with a fellow press member that I attended the screening with, the sound aspect of RED TAILS is great, one of the best in recent years, and I don’t think the CG is overwhelming, it really helps anyway when you’re dealing with cinematic pieces involving aerial combats.

I can’t stand this movie’s one-liners, it happens quite often, the movie thinks it’s smart by inserting witty sentence after an explosion for example, but the result is just terrible.

One liners isn’t the only problem, the film is ridden with unnecessary fiery speeches. One or two could be inspiring, but more than five just gets irritating. And sadly Oscar nominee Terrence Howard and Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. get to bear that responsibility because they play high ranking officers.

The actors are decent at best in my opinion, Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, David Oyelowo and the rest, they’re young, full of passion and energy, the interaction between Oyelowo’s and Parker’s characters reminds me of the interaction between Denzel and Freeman in Glory but once again, unfortunately the poor direction and the poor script keep Oyelowo – Parker’s moments from shining.

What cracks me up the most is the movie badly wants to be a gritty war drama but it doesn’t seem to exactly know how to do that, the story even includes prisoners of war element but because it’s afraid to fully go down that road, what it does instead is to just cover that part briefly and then introduces some kind of happy resolution just in time when the team loses one of their members.

Obviously due to the era in which this story is set and that the main stars are African Americans, the characters have to overcome racism and prejudice in military. So there are parts where the whites are just straight up bad guys. The black pilots have to go the distance to prove themselves but each of them has their own demons that they must fight, whether it be alcholism, blind in one eye, a thrill-seeking short-tempered daredevil who acts first and thinks later, each character is an open book, nothing mysterious or profound about them.

GRADE: 2 out of 5

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