Opening in theatres this Friday from director Anthony Hemingway, 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilms is the story of the “Red Tails”.
This film tells the story of a group of African-American airmen from the Tuskegee Program. Normally being used for fly over’s, the group wants a chance to prove their worth.
Finally, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terence Howard), goes to Washington to present their case. It is Maj. General Luntz (Gerald McRaney) who decides it is time for the men to join the war. By providing air cover for the bombers, the Red Tails are born.
On the ground the flyers are watched over by Major Emanuelle Stance (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and the company is led by Marty ‘Easy’ Julian (Nate Parker). His men include Ray ‘Junior’ Gannon (Tristan Wilds), Samuel ‘Joker’ George (Elijah Kelly), Kevin Phillips as Leon ‘Neon’ Edwards and Method Man as Sticks.
FINAL WORD: Howard is lovely as Bullard and seems to be the only one not play acting in the film. His performance is solid and believable. Gooding’s is also well done (although the McArthur pipe is a bit much) and believable.
The rest of the crew seemed like they were just reading their lines. There was something over acted about their performances. The film itself has nothing holding it together. It is as if they shot one scene, yelled ‘cut!’ and moved on. The stories were blurred and there was really no time to get to know the characters or have feeling for them.
Having it be historically based, one would think there would be an effort put toward emotion for the film. It just feels flat and hard. Even the dog fight scenes felt campy. In once scene the films shows each pilot doing a roll – really? Was that at all necessary? I trust they knew how to do a roll.
Other cast include: Lee Tergresen as Col. Jack Tomlinson, Daniela Ruha as Sophia, Matthew March as Brig. Gen. Hauser, Barnaby Kay as Com. Gen. Westlake, Okezie Morro as Jammer, and Aml Ameen as Bag O’ Bones.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Red Tails” three tubs of popcorn out of five. I mainly feel compelled to give it a half of a star more than I would for sheer effort. I think this film might have more appeal to those who have a vested interest in these pilots. Although I truly believe it is a part of history everyone should embrace – reading more about it on your own might be much better.
In the end – they wanted to fly for their country.