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Red Tails goes down in flames

Schlocky picture does wrong by heroic pilots and audiences


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Word has it George Lucas, as producer, has been working on this WWII flick (directed by Anthony Hemingway) since the late '80s. You’d think a couple of decades would be time enough to concoct fully developed characters and credible dialogue. As it is, this tribute to a group of black pilots in the Tuskegee program, relegated to the ground for much of the war, doesn’t venture far into complex race relations, glossing over them in a simplistic, sentimental way; only one scene---in which the pilots are invited into a whites-only bar for a congratulatory drink for their heroism (protecting the white pilots)---attempts to go beyond this. A historically captivating story, with black leads (a rarity in Hollywood, unfortunately), is turned into an epically long schmaltz-fest with mediocre CGI effects. The Tuskegee pilots (and viewers) deserve better.

Related Film

Red Tails

Official Site:

Director: Anthony Hemingway

Writer: John Ridley and George Lucas

Cast: Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Leslie Odom Jr., Kevin Phillips, Method Man, Lee Tergesen, Daniela Ruah and Matthew Marsh


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