Skip to comments.Red Tails: Film Review [Hollywood re-writes history again!]
Posted on 01/19/2012 6:23:52 AM PST by Bender2
Red Tails: Film Review
7:53 PM PST 1/18/2012 by Todd McCarthy
The Bottom Line: Action-and-effects version of the Tuskegee airmen's story flies only when it's off the ground.
The George Lucas-produced labor of love stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard as Tuskegee airmen in World War II.
The experience of black American aviators in World War II gets a whitewash in Red Tails. The story of the 996 pilots (and some 15,000 ground personnel) who distinguished themselves in the air in the face of institutional racism is a great one and, at least, will come to the attention of more people due to this long-gestating project from Lucasfilm. But every character here is so squeaky clean, and the prejudice as depicted is so toothless and easily overcome, that the film feels like a gingerly fantasy version of what, in real life, was an exceptional example of resilient trail-blazing. The tale's considerable built-in inspirational value will move and impress black audiences of all ages and would do the same to a wider public if sufficiently promoted, but the determinedly simplistic approach will curtail interest among any viewers hungry for some real history. The anticipated low interest level for this material overseas is cited as a major reason the project took so long to get off the ground.
A key signal of how much you can trust any contemporary movie about either of the 20th century's world wars is how, and even if, it depicts smoking; if, like this one, it buckles to current fashion and scarcely depicts soldiers smoking at all in a period when cigarettes were part of ration kits, then it's frankly not to be trusted in any other respect either.
(Excerpt) Read more at hollywoodreporter.com ...
If I may paraphrase the reviewer... this film gives 'whitewash' a totally new meaning!
I’m not trying to diminish the contribution of these brave men, but they’ve already made a movie about the Tuskeegee Airmen. I believe it came out in 1995 which is fairly recent.
I heard Lucas in an interview about this film and he was quite honest: (summary) “this is for the 10-year-old in me: it is about fast planes and cool dogfights. Yes, the racism story is interesting but I just use it as a platform for the fun stuff.”
Remember folks, Han shot first...
What? I thought every country loved watching movies about how racist white people are!
Any movies about the brave men who fought in the Korean War?
I think I'll miss this one. Unless the reviews change my opinion, it appears to me that the only thing that this movie has in common with history is the actors were black.
Honestly, I think that it looks pretty disrespectful to the *real* Tuskeegee Airmen.
I think all Lucas' films are made for ten-year-olds.
Another movie about evil white racists....
I gotta say, I just don’t care anymore. Seriously. I’m burned out on it. Take your little racism theme I’m supposed to feel guilty about and shove it.
And after watching the RedLetterMedia reviews of Star Wars, I won’t ever knowingly step within a block of any movie theater screening a Lucas project. The man’s an epic moron.
Very successful....but amazingly stupid.
Yeah, and from the teasers on TV those planes don’t look like P-47’s either.
“Yes, the racism story is interesting..”
Yes, whites just adore being beaten over the head daily with the “racism” sledgehammer.
Its a gas.
I agree with you on both movies. Thin Red Line was terrible.
—Im not trying to diminish the contribution of these brave men, but theyve already made a movie about the Tuskeegee Airmen.—
I own it. It’s pretty good but comes off a little like a TV movie. I saw the previews to this one and I really want to see it, but just for the flying scenes. I’ve been a huge WWII air war buff since the late 1960’s and have spent thousands of hours on internet WWII simulators, flying pretty much everything every used in the war from every country.
I’ve learned to not expect Hollywood to get it right. I mean, in Gone With the Wind, the women of the civil war had 1930’s hairstyles..
I saw a poster for this movie a couple weeks ago and saw the mustang with a red tail and said to my wife, “must be about the Tuskegee Airmen.”
I’ll wait for it to come out on Blue Ray at redbox before I watch it though. I’ve discovered the movies are actually BETTER at home now then at the theater.
The promos for the movie are insulting enough.The movie looks like a video game.
I think they started with P47 but ended flying P51s.
I also seem to remember they never lost any bomber they were escorting.
There is a reference to “squeak clean”, personally I don’t think any fly boys in WWII were squeaky clean.
I am surprised Hollywood did not put them in jets.
Sounds to me like if you treat this like you would watching your typical 80’s action film with Arnold or Bruce Willis in it, you’ll like it.
I've never regretted sitting through an entire movie more than I did when I watched The Thin Red Line. It was like watching war through the eyes of a high school art fag.
They flew those, but were more closely associated with the P-51. The planes in the trailers appear to be the P-51D variant, which I what I've always associated with the Red Tails.
Gadzooks, wbill! How can... you say that???
When the heroic left handed lefty George Clooney... appeared in the last reel to save the day and now that we mention it, pick up a very healthy paycheck?
Given how long CGI has been around, I always thought they'd have improved it by now to the point where it no longer looked like CGI. I was wrong.
Why, with the timing of this movie, you’d almost suspect we had a black Democrat running for re-election.
It looks like a full length version of the History Channel’s “Dogfights”. I wonder if they will portray the Germans as 20 yr. olds with about 40 hrs of flying time? Would they have survived against Hartmann?
“Any movies about the brave men who fought in the Korean War?”
One day I was scrounging around in the bargain video bin at Wal-Mart. I found and bought a Korean War video. It was about artillery spotting aircraft (L17? L19?) My favorite part is where a young impetuous pilot wants to strike back at the enemy. He lashes some bazookas onto the wing strut so he can take out a tank.
The Red Chinese in the movie fly P-51 Mustangs. Can’t remember the title. I’ll have to look it up when I get home.
A few months after Obama usurped the Office, he ordered a terror attack by Air Force One upon downtown Manhattan.
The purpose? Almost certainly it was related to this film.
See comment from "mm" at Althouse blog: May 10, 2009
I saw the trailer for “Red Tails” in the theater, and knowing nothing about the airplanes of the era, I wondered if those types of planes would be capable of the speed and maneuvering depicted in the film.
Other than that, it looked pretty terrible.
Too bad, because those men deserve so much better.
However, occasionally, Hollywood gets it right.
I was reading about "A Bridge Too Far" (good flick, if you've not seen it). Michael Caine played the Colonel who was leading the initial attack. The scene before the attack had him making this "rah rah, three cheers for the home team, go out and kill some Nazis" chest-thumping type speech to the troops.
Fortunately, the *real* Colonel (Col. J.O.E. Vandeleur) was on set that day, and Caine asked him what he really said before the attack. A plain, straightforward "OK, Let's Go", or somesuch, was the answer. And, that's what made it into the movie.
So, occasionally, Hollywood gets it right. At least, by accident. :-)
Racism did exist in the armed forces; it was part of the background of society at the time, though it probably wasn’t malevolent. I know my uncles, who were all vets (Army Ranger, Merchant Marine, and two Army Air Force), had attitudes running that way when I talked to them after the war. It wasn’t intentional; no one knew different then.
I knew this movie was BS when they had the trailer showing the P-51 Mustangs flying around the B-17s shooting at the Luftwaffe planes. The escort pilots learned quickly that the gunners in the B-17s would shoot at anything so the escorts never went into the actual bomber formations.
The Korean War? You mean the one where they drank Martinis and chased Nurses named Hot Lips?
Dad was in the 25th Tropic Lightning at the Yalu River.
Is it a hollywood movie produced to generate revenue or a documentary?
You have to understand- Lucas is the King of PC. He is also a perpetual 10 year old, mentally, albeit one with billions. The man is pathologically immature and is surrounded by ‘yes’ men . He WON’T grow up and he’s pushing 70. Adult maturity is foreign to him- adult themes are ‘icky’. At least he didn’t WRITE any of this film, did he? If so- it’s doomed.
Oh- Lucas also announced hes retiring from filmmaking. Thank the Maker- hopefully he won’t trash the SW universe anymore!
If my memory serves me correctly, the Tuskegee Airmen started out flying Curtiss P-40 Warhawks...
Then briefly with Bell P-39 Airacobras...
Very briefly with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts...
And finally with North American A-36 Apache (listed in some sources as "Invader") the ground-attack/dive bomber version of the P-51...
And finally with the P-51-D Mustang...
But then again, why quote history... when Hollywood and George Lucas knows best?
I’ll probably wait for the movie to come to Netflix, but the Hollywood Reporter’s issues with historical correctness seem rather nitpicky to me.
There is smoking, but not enough and the wrong kind of smoking? If that is worst historical inaccuracy in the film, it is probably the most accurate film in history.
Nowadays the only thing they teach about WWII is Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden.
What was the conent of the review? I would be interesting in reading it.
What was the conent of the review? I would be interested in reading it.
“...youd almost suspect we had a black Democrat running for re-election....”
I wonder when the first flick about that disaster will come out and how accurate it will be.
What? How could not like the constant buzz of cell phones, the migrating light of smart pones, the constant conversations of rude patrons, crying babies, coughing and hacking sick people and the occasional outburst of violence?
It can’t possibly be as bad as U-571, I mean Jon Bon Jovi???? Really?!?!?!
The great British actor Christopher Lee, who often played Dracula, was an RAF fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain. He auditioned for the movie “The Battle of Britain” and was rejected as being “too tall to be a pilot.”
"It was a different time, you understand." - Wallace "Suitcase" Jefferson
quote-Nowadays the only thing they teach about WWII is Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden.-end quote
How true. And, of course, it was those nasty, rich, racist, old white men who were responsible and, of course, “war criminal” Harry Truman.
The trailer for the movie that I see on TV has killed the movie for me.
According to the trailer, the only people fighting were the Red Tails. They saved America.
Their actual contributions were great, but this movie appears to be a travesty.
will george lucas follow the path of speilberg and change history to have airplanes with wing mounted walkie talkies?
Them and of course, the Red Army.
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