Red Tails

Red Tails opened this weekend, and I made the effort to see it after George Lucas’ interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

The movie has some good fight scenes, and I like that it highlights a part of history that we frequently ignore in the U.S. The characters are not as fleshed out as they could be, and the dialogue is a bit flat and clich├ęd.

But it captures the same feeling, in all of its flawed glory, of U.S. movies in the time of World War II. It tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American air-force division, with the heroism and patriotism of movies like Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Tuskegee Airmen
From the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives Flickr

I appreciate that the movie highlights the accomplishments and drive of the men who fought to fly and then cam home to fight for equality. The movie focuses on the strength of the men who made up the Tuskegee experiment in the guise of a blockbuster. And the format makes the information approachable for a broad audience.

I do wish the movie was more cohesive in its approach to the story, but I think as an introduction with entertainment value it works. I would recommend the movie for all audiences who are old enough to handle loud noises and some gore. As tame as this movie is, because the focus is on the people, it remains a war film, which means on-screen deaths occur but with less intensity than a crime show on tv. I’d recommend it for people who would like a brief overview of a moment in U.S. history or people who like to watch WWII dogfights.