Written by / 1/20/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

GEORGE LUCAS PRESENTS RED TAILS

year: 2012 rating: **
Anyone familiar with the George Lucas Productions of the past fifteen years won’t be surprised the special effects exceed the storyline – although the story itself is a great one because it’s true: centering on The Tuskegee Airmen, a unit of African American pilots given a chance to fly missions during the Second World War. But there’s no real plot (or plots) within the important history lesson, only one-dimensional characters that, while understandably motivated to overcome racism and prove their worth as pilots, hang around the barracks either complaining about the initially peripheral missions or spouting banter straight from a sitcom, and not a funny one.

Two characters work together the best: Nate Parker as “Easy,” the insecure squad leader constantly attempting restraint on the maverick hotshot pilot “Lightning” (Han Solo anyone?) who, when not part of a superfluous romance with a local Italian villager/supermodel, takes way too many chances in the sky where the film truly belongs, unhindered by wasted side-characters and a quickie subplot involving a German Gulag. And while the dialog remains cheesy and cartoonish during the dogfights, each battle, replete with C.G.I. but still looking quite real, provides a new challenge for the men – it's just too bad we don’t get to know them better on the ground to make their achievements really matter.
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