Red Tails

Written by  //  January 24, 2012  //  Donnyblurbs  //  1 Comment

Your favorite masked crime-fighter checks out the latest flyboy epic – snappity snaps ensue.

Francois: Red Tails (ah-oooh-oooh) every day they’re out there flying Red Tails (ah-oooh-oooh)

Max: Francy baby, what the hell are you singing?

Francois: It’s the Red Tails theme song. We’ve finally gotten the movie after twenty years of waiting!

Max: No dumbass, that’s the theme from Ducktails.

Francois: So this movie wasn’t about Scrooge McDuck and his nephews going on a wacky adventure to find lost Indian gold? Well then what movie did I just watch?

Max: What? No! It was about the famous Tuskegee airmen. You know, the first black pilots?

Francois: Oooh a question. Umm. Uhhhh. Urrrr…

Max: I’ll take that as a no. Well if you’re done with all that singing nonsense, allow me to inform you of how wrong you are. Red Tails is a movie directed by Anthony Anderson and written by Aaron McGruder (creator of the Boondocks) detailing the rise of the Tuskegee airmen (the first African American military pilots) during World War 2 and their struggles against racism in order to find their wings and share equal status with their white pilot brethren.

Francois: *Folds arms* I liked my movie idea better

Max: Shut up unless you wanna end up like Geronimo. *Ahem* Our story mainly follows six Tuskegee airmen:  Captain Marty ‘Easy’ Julian (Nate Parker: The Great Debaters, Pride), Joe ‘Lightning’ Little (David Oyelowo: The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Samuel ‘Joker’ George (Elijah Kelley: Hairspray, 28 Days), Andrew ‘Smokey’ Salem (Ne-Yo: Battle Los Angeles, Stomp the Yard), Ray ‘Ray Gun’ Gannon (Tristan Wilds: The Wire, 90210), and Leon ‘Neon’ Edwards (Kevin Phillips: Notorious, Pride) as well as their two commanding officers Major Emanuel Stance (Cuba Gooding Jr.: Snow Dogs, Boyz n the Hood, Radio) who is literally trying to devour his pipe throughout the movie, and Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard: Hustle & Flow, Pride, Crash).

Francois: Wow with a cast like that (besides those names I don’t know) I bet this movie was amazing right?

Max: Sadly my dear escargot, the movie isn’t. While the history of the airmen is important and it’s great that a younger audience gets to experience it, cheesy dialogue, soap opera acting, and side plots that really add nothing to the overall story weigh the movie down and make it a generally boring experience, which is a big no-no for an action movie. Now, some of the acting is not bad (David Oyelowo is the standout actor of the film and Terrence Howard pulls a convincing job) but most of it is a total snoozefest.

With actors over emphasizing their lines (rolling your eyes while you yell out that someone is crazy, is in fact crazy);  drama seemingly tossed in just to create conflict (showing a character take a swig of alcohol earlier, then like an hour later another character brought it up, calling him an alcoholic, does not seem justifiable); and all the characters that are supposed to have some kind of relationship but just didn’t feel connected – all resulted in me thinking not for a second that these characters knew each other previously.

I rolled my eyes throughout the movie so much that I probably saw my own brain more than the film. There’s also a side love story that amounts to absolutely nothing, to the point that I was confused as to why it was even in the movie other than to enforce the war-movie stereotype of the guy who “has a girlfriend to come back to” which might as well be the “this is my last week on the job” cop-guy.

Even through all of that, I have to admit that the CGI dogfights are pretty awesome and probably the only time I paid attention to the film, or even opened my eyes, but there just weren’t enough to truly keep me awake. With only 3 dogfights throughout the movie, I really did feel like sleeping and asking Francois to wake me up when the dogfights happened because they were the only interesting parts. *Grahhhh* This movie just did not make my day. Francois! Sing us out. I have to go and binge shop to let out all my anger.

Francois: Aye aye sir. Red Tails (ah-oooh-oooh) not bunny tales or cotton tales, no Red Tails (ah-oooh-oooh)

About the Author

Max Phineas Diego Leroux

Malcolm Lenore, aka Max Phineas Diego Leroux, is Donnybrook's resident Comics and Video Games expert. When not waxing philosophic about the intricacies of Marvel vs. DC, he moonlights as a film and television critic. As Max Phineas, he is the son of an oil tycoon who parades around the streets at night as a superhero with his two teenage houseboys. When too bored to go out and fight crime he spends his days watching cable and looting his parents DVD collection. Follow Malcolm on the Twitter and the Facebook!

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