Before we get into my thoughts on Red Tails I want to get one little fact clear, George Lucas did not direct the movie. Anthony Hemingway directed it, Lucas only produced it. So when you’re in line on your way to the theater this weekend and you’re trying to impress your date or friends make sure you tell ’em that. Now let’s get to business, I’ve always been interested in the Tuskegee Airmen, I saw a movie about them in the 90s and always loved the story about how they over came all of their adversities to be come the legends they are today.
This film isn’t about how the Tuskegee experiment started, when the film begins the Tuskegee Airmen America’s all black fighter squadron is already in Italy during World War 2. They have their own base far from where the white air base is and sub par planes. The group doesn’t let that get them down, they are happy to represent their country and be able to fly, but they know they can do more and they want to show it. Despite their amazing skills, the powers that be believe that black pilots aren’t good enough to fly. Of course they have no choice but to let them get real missions and when they do they excel and complete their missions. Don’t worry I’m not spoiling anything you can wikipedia that.
The movie reminded me of a 1940s version of Top Gun. It’s an adventure movie about friendship and brotherhood. I found myself rooting for the characters. I gotta give it up to the great cast that included Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr as the commanding officers. The pilots played by Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, were the stand outs you believed in their friendship it reminded me of the Goose and Maverick relationship from Top Gun. Even Ne-Yo and Method Man did a great job.
Another thing I loved was the aerial fight scenes, if there was one thing with having George Lucas involved was that you get his Industrial Lights & Magic special effects company to handle the special effects. There are many dog fights and they were well done.
Overall I enjoyed Red Tails, it’s a well done story showing the heroics of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. It doesn’t get preachy or anything like that. It’s just a great adventure movie.