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