It's an action film to rival any of its contemporaries, without being glitzy and over the top, which I know is usually the order of the day by many of today's audiences. Of course, I love my share of the Independence Day, G.I. Joe, Transformers type of in-your-face fare, but that kind of zoom and boom would not have done this work its due justice. I think the way they did it was done just right.
I'll admit that seeing the actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, and even Method Man (aka Cliff Smith), all closer to my age in real life, portraying the seasoned vets of the day among so many of the younger, lesser known cast made me feel old. Nate Parker, whom I loved in The Great Debaters, delivered a superbly flawed and vulnerable squadron leader, CPT "Easy" Julian, with the finesse and demeanor of a young Denzel Washington's PFC Melvin Peterson, ala A Soldier's Story. If I had a school girl's crush on Denzel, then I seem to have developed a cougar's crush on Nate. But, oh well.
Well, this is no soldier's story. It is an airman's story. Or rather, the story of several airmen.
It was a well-directed and well-acted. The lead and supporting performances were all subtle, but strong. You will likely see several faces that you know you know from somewhere, even if you can't immediately place the names.
The script was powerful, but understated, in my opinion. Despite my emotional attachment to the story, I wish the script writing had been stronger. I think the dialogue fell flat in some places because the movie was so short and seemed cheated. Hopefully, the actors' delivery won't get the blame for that.
It felt like a very abbreviated film for it to have been 2 hours long; but maybe that's because I was enjoying it so much. I wanted to know more about and see more from all of the characters. I'd love to one day see the deleted scenes that landed on the cutting room floor. I've heard that there may be a prequel and/or a sequel coming out. That would be great.
Of course, like any movie "based on true events," I probably would label it historical fiction. Yes, based on true events, but obviously laced with many Hollywood touches. It is not without its flaws and historical inaccuracies, but that's no reason not to enjoy it.
It's a respectfully done and respectable effort. It would be nice to see it do well critically, if not financially. And it's great for starting and continuing a dialogue about these men and their stories. I remember that A Soldier's Story, in its time, wasn't all that well received, but today, it's a classic to many, even with its flaws.
Basically, watching Red Tails made me want to see more. I guess that's a good thing in Hollywood. Maybe that's the way they set it up for the sequels and prequels, to make you want more. I hope that's the case; and hopefully, the story will be fleshed out more in future movies. Always leave 'em wanting more. I do hope there is more, and very soon! From what I've heard, it took over 20 years for this film to finally be made. Twenty more years would be way too long.
Thanks, Mr. Lucas and Mr. Hemingway. Well done.