Red Tails (2012)

And Lucasfilm shits out another one. The inspiring true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first ‘all black’ P51 Mustang fighter squadron, deserves SO much more than this lame attempt has to offer. This clumsy flick is right up there with Michael Bays ridiculously insulting Pearl Harbor (2001), another flashy historical ‘drama’ that only serves to embarrass the very people it claims to be honoring. So much has already been said about how bad this movie is…but I have to weigh in here. There is just SO much that’s wrong about Red Tails. The dialogue as absolutely hilarious in how truly awful and half-assed it is. There is no imagination or effort put into the writing or the ‘delivery’, and it really shows. Everything is painfully ‘right on the nose’ and vocalized with all the feeling of a Speak N Spell. I’ve literally heard better dialogue in high school plays. There are a couple of moronic subplots that are clumsily handled and completely unnecessary. And I do stress: Completely Unnecessary. One is an out-of-the-blue romance the serves the so-called plot in no way…I mean, they don’t even speak the same language and yet they somehow fall deeply in love, despite the fact that racism would probably (and actually) be a factor where a black man wooing a white Italian woman in the 40s was concerned. Another is a needless prison break story following one of the pilots after he’s shot down over enemy territory. It pretty much goes nowhere and wouldn’t have affected the movie at all had it been cut out…along with the stupid romance story. The white characters are nearly all open racists with no qualms at all about broadcasting it, even when the Airmen have surpassed expectations and saved numerous Caucasian lives. The black characters themselves indulge in a cringe-worthy amount of stereotypical bromantic broohaha that’s supposed to play as ‘characterization’ but somehow comes off as somewhat racist itself. Which boggles the mind, considering that the credited director is African American. Given that Anthony Hemingways filmography boasts an impressive number of quality projects (many for HBO) does lead me to think that ‘Jabba Jowls’ Lucas may have had more input into this piece of shit than should’ve been allowed. In the flicks favor, there are some cool dogfight and ground attack sequences, but even they have a sterile, video game quality to them. And I really shouldn’t be surprised about some of the liberties taken with history; like the fact the P51 Mustang (which the movie rightfully idolizes) couldn’t engage the Messerschmidt ME262 jet fighter in head to head combat…it only stood a chance of taking one down if the 262 was caught taking off or landing. But NOOOOO…in Red Tails they get fairly easily blown out of the sky one after another in a swooping, roaring dogfight! Total bullshit. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from George Lucas, The Hack with More Money Than Brains. This is just another painful example of that. There used to be a time when seeing the Lucasfilm logo at the beginning of a movie got me hyped for what was to come…now I just expect to be angry and insulted by the time the credits roll…assuming I last that long. Red Tails sucks…and is a genuine embarrassment to the men the story is about. Someday, I hope that someone with The Cash and more importantly, The Vision, steps up and delivers a well crafted, exciting and inspiring movie about the dashing exploits of these men. It’s a good story. But THIS…is not a good version of it. At All.

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