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Customer Review

45 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a missed opportunity - what a shame, 26 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Red Tails [DVD] (DVD)
This movie makes a mockery of the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen and for that reason alone deserves your contempt because it will stop other film makers from making better movies about the subject for at least another 10 years. The 1995 Laurence Fishburne movie is better. If you're interested in the subject then do yourself a favour, stop reading this now and go and watch that instead.

If you're interested in a vacuum-headed movie that plays out like "Pearl Harbor" though, then read on.

You'd think that with such a rich and heroic story to work from that even George Lucas couldn't mess this one up. He's done the same, however, to the story of the Tuskegee Airman that he did to his own "Star Wars" by creating a movie that is almost entirely free of memorable characters and packed to the nines with ridiculous computer effects.

So the plot sucks, but maybe it's worth watching for the action? Nope. I'm afraid the computer visuals all looks kinda fake and crappy so you're entirely detached from the action. CG always suffers from this anyway, I suppose it's cheap compared to actually filming real aircraft though so we're force-fed warm spoons of it in everything these days. The CG in "Red Tails" is especially nasty though because it has a kind of dull flatness to it that screams FAKE at you in 100 foot tall flashing letters. On top of that the movement of the aircraft has that fake "spaceship" style CG look and also depicts stunts that the aircraft can't physically do. The idea of having a P-51 do a backflip to take out a bad guy may seem cool to the scriptwriter and is probably cool to most brain-dead movie goers these days, but if you know anything about air combat it ruins the scene. Do some research before writing drivel like this, please.

Don't even get me started on the whole idea of doing a movie which is ostensibly about racism while at the same time having possibly the most shallow and stereotypical German baddie I think I've ever seen. He even has a scar on his face. Where is the true story of air combat in WW2? The too-young men who are thrown into the fray day upon day, tired and terrified for their lives but not showing it out of bravado, on both sides - Allied and German? Read "The Big Show" by Pierre Clostermann and tell me again how "Red Tails" even vaguely reflects true air combat in WW2.

I LOVE the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. I love the irony that by being small-minded racists the US Army accidentally created an elite fighter squadron. This message is NOT conveyed in this movie and I think that's probably the biggest travesty of all.

In summary - don't expect much from this otherwise you'll be disappointed. "Saving Private Ryan" this ain't.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Oct 2012 22:44:17 GMT
Thank you for this review. I saw this film advertised on TV as coming on sale. Being a devotee of WW2 action films, I naturally considered buying it. Your review, however, highlights just about everything that is wrong with the war fims of today. I enjoyed the original "Tuskegee Airmen" film and thought that with probable higher production costs this film might be even better. You have given me a timely warning. I wont be buying it. The P51 back flip sums it up nicely. Incidentally,I have read "The Big Show", also "Flames in the Sky" by the same author. along with a couple of thousand others. For what it's worth, one of my favourite WW2 air fims is "Twelve O'Clock High" with Greg Peck. made in 1949. Thanks again for steering me in the right direction.

Posted on 29 Oct 2012 18:18:24 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 26 Mar 2013 08:27:47 GMT]

Posted on 30 Oct 2012 10:40:30 GMT
Gunslinger says:
Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Saw the trailer with the P51 backflip, and thought, 'What?!' the wings would be torn off, even if it could brake and turn, this is not BF3.
Tuskegee was a better film.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2012 08:41:54 GMT
T. Edwards says:
Yes this review is very fair and accurate. What a shame.

Posted on 5 Nov 2012 21:13:32 GMT
K. Grunwald says:
Where on earth do you folk get the idea that movies like this will be historically accurate??
Surely by now you know that these movies are not for educational purposes they are solely to entertain thus filling the makers coffers.
Let this be a lesson to you mate.

Posted on 4 Jan 2013 22:56:20 GMT
peter knight says:
The Battle of Britain pre CGI days is a far better portrayal of air combat.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 22:58:05 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 4 Jan 2013 22:58:31 GMT]

Posted on 16 Feb 2013 08:02:03 GMT
W. sinclair says:
I also wish I had read your review before I bought this movie . I am not the harshest critic but this was garbage. I dont think I,ve ever watched a film with so cliches in it , and yes , the backflip just added insult to injury.
Great and accurate review K.R. and I wish I had read it sooner . Bill

Posted on 11 Apr 2013 10:10:21 BDT
Nick Brett says:
Agree 100% - good review.

Posted on 4 Sep 2013 23:20:26 BDT
Why call people "brain dead movie goers" for thinking a plane doing a "back flip" is cool? Most people watching any arial battle scene in any film wouldn't know what a P-51 is, let alone what kind of manoeuvres it's capable of making! If this film has done anything, it has served to draw more deserved attention to the red tails and their part in WW2. Can't be that bad then!
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