- Director: anthony Hemingway
- Genre: Drama
- Details: US/TBC TBC
A passion project for George Lucas, who stumped up the clams to make the film himself, this is a noble, but sloppy production that while worthwhile in terms of story is far too heavy-handed to connect. Featuring some of the most hilarious "evil Nazi" characters in cinematic history, this is the kind of film your grandfather will love - provided he's not a racist, obviously.
Based on a true story of a group of African American fighter pilots who partook in endless heroics during World War 2, they also had to put up with a shitload of horrible behaviour simply because of the colour of their skin. Cuba Gooding, Jr. is Major Emanuel Stance, and Terrence Howard is Col. A.J. Bullard - two men in charge of the Tuskegee Airmen. Partaking in dangerous missions, the group must deal with the obvious bureaucracy of the time, as well as heightened tensions and in-fighting between the squadron.
Director Hemingway has directed some sterling television is his time, but he's hamstrung here by a script that only really offers speeches, and not rounded characters giving speeches. Writing has never been Lucas' strong point; and while he's not credited with the script here, his hallmarks are all over it. Still, Hemingway does manage a couple of nifty sequences and he's shown in his previous work that he can actually direct actors - when the material is there. Gooding Jr. and Howard are the ostensible leads, but really their just names for the poster. Both recognisable, but hardly star names (anymore), they're strong actors who have made bad choices in their careers.
If you could pick one word to describe Red Tails it would be corny. It is very, very corny. And while you get the point, it's hammered home with the subtlety of a brick to the balls.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 8th June 2012 | Movie Review
George Lucas goes into retirement and says goodbye to cinema with Red Tails - not that many will notice. A long-held passion project for The Bearded One, he's on producing duties here while Anthony Hemingway takes up the director's chair. Given the fact that Lucas edited WWII dogfight footage into a rough cut of Star Wars, it's no surprise that he's wanted to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American squadron of WWII. Red Tails follows them in Italy in 1944 as they face racial and military challenges at all levels of the Airforce. Yearning for more challenging targets than German trains, they earn their way to providing protection for bombing runs. It's a very earnest film that does its best not to offend anyone. The underlying theme of racism is only lightly touched upon, while the non-American characters come off as one-dimensional (nasty Germans, friendly Italians). A tentative romance between one pilot and an Italian woman is sweet but naive (this being a war movie, you just know where it's heading). The aerial dogfights are rousing, but the drama on the ground falls flat. There's a better film in here somewhere, but it got lost along the way. It could have been Glory with dogfights, but instead it's passable entertainment.Posted 22:27 | Wed 6th Jun 2012
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content