Watched May 18, 2012
Geir Friestad’s review:
A movie made with good intentions, a clunky script and a dispiriting lack of directorial grace, Red Tails barely makes it back to the runway intact. It's the kind of movie you want to like – a racially charged underdog story, about the African American squadron of fighter pilots known as the Tuskagee Airmen and, more informally, as the Red Tails.
Unfortunately, director Anthony Hemingway, helming his first feature film here, seems to have relied heavily on consistently uninspired directorial cues from producer George Lucas, because all of the unfortunate hallmarks of the bearded one's inept style of actor direction are in full view here. Only whenever the movie segues into one of its handful of dogfighting sequences does it roar back into life. Lucas famously based the space battles in his early Star Wars movies on recordings of WW2 dogfights, and some of that old magic is thrillingly resurrected in Red Tails' aerial battles.
But it's not enough to save the movie. Running at over two hours, it has plenty of time to repeatedly grind to a halt by running its archetypical characters through cliched motions and a story that consistently fails to engage. It's too bad – the Tuskagee Airmen deserved a better movie than this.