Red Tails tells a good story–but it could’ve been a better movie…

I really appreciate the story that Red Tails is telling and I wanted to know about this part of our history.  It is fascinating and inspiring to know how much these men went through to serve their country and earn respect. Unfortunately the film was disjointed and scattered, so I never really got as invested as I should have be.  The aerial scenes are cool and well done, but that is not enough to make up for the weak script and mediocre acting.

The fresh, young actors portraying the group of Tuskegee pilots all have potential (especially David Oyelowo and Nate Parker)–but most are still a bit green.  It felt a bit like a community theater production.  Of course, Cuba Gooding, Jr and Terrence Howard are good–but are only on-screen for a few minutes. 

The story tries to tell different aspects of the men’s lives in World War II, but it jumps around and no one has a smooth arch.  It all feels like tiny parts of a bigger story–but never fully realized.  I also never felt time passing–so when they would jump ahead I would be wondering “when did that happen?”.  We all make fun on montages–because most are trite and forced–but a montage can be effective when done properly–well, Red Tails was in desperate need of a montage! It would have helped register the passing of time and given us more fight scenes.

Bottom line? It is not a waste of time–George Lucas struggled to get this picture done (interesting story on its own)–director Anthony Hemingway has a good eye–and the cast is promising–and it’s an important part of our history, but I would be surprised if you come out completely satisfied.  

Side note: If you want to see a more dramatic retelling (better acted) try to find the 1995 TV movie The Tuskegee Airmen with Laurence Fishburne and a young Cuba Gooding, Jr.


About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

One thought on “Red Tails tells a good story–but it could’ve been a better movie…

  1. Lucas once said if he wanted more emotion he’d wring a cat’s neck on screen. So you kind of have to go into his movies not expecting huge drama, especially now he’s out from under Star Wars and the expectations it has put on him as a director. You really have to sympathize with a man who wanted to be a artsy fartsy director and was forced into big blockbuster fame.

    Anyway I do plan on seeing this and I look forward to seeing if I agree with you (which I very well could!). Cheers!

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