Last week I saw Director Anthony Hemingway’s film Red Tails. As you probably know from all the publicity, the film is about the wartime exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen. If you’re expecting a review of how this famous unit came to be or other background information, this isn’t the film for you. This action movie starts and ends at forward operating bases near the front during World War Two.
I enjoyed the film and recommend it. It’s the kind of movie you wanted to see when you were eight, all action and none of the gushy stuff (well, just a little).
This George Lucas production stars Gerald McRaney as the Squadron Commander and Cuba Gooding Jr., as his executive officer. (If you missed seeing Gooding in Men of Honor, please do yourself a favor and see it). The are six other lead actors who get a the majority of screen time as pilots.
Perhaps out of historical accuracy Gooding is attached to a large pipe (a “Full Bent Billiard” I believe) in every single scene. I’m all for historical accuracy but, the pipe becomes distracting as the movie progresses watching Gooding fumble around with the pipe, situate it between his perfect teeth, light it, and render salutes with it in his mouth. I like Gooding but I don’t believe the man has ever had a pipe in his hands or mouth before. It occurs to me as I write this I don’t recall his ever putting any tobacco in the pipe, he did light it, but I don’t recall any tobacco.
The camera work, stunt work, special and visual effects are outstanding. The flight scenes are great and you can actually see some of the dog fight maneuvers pilots use. It is worth the price of admission just to see the flight/fight scenes. The acting is good.
Please see Red Tails in a theater for the full effect of the flying and fighting, it is worth the extra money. This is a chapter in a story that should never be forgotten, a story of the Greatest Generation.