Writer: John Ridley, Aaron McGruber (Screenplay) John B Holway (Book ‘Red Tails, Black Wings: The Men of America’s Black Air Force’)
Starring: Terrence Howard, Cube Gooding Jr, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristian Wilds, Ne-Yo, Michael B Jordan
Plot: A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
Verdict: Solid War Film
Story: We start by with a dogfight before we meet our heroes who are on a routine in their beat up second hand planes and how they take out a German train. When reports emerge that the black pilot squadron might get cancelled they have to stay motivated while they fight for their right to fight for their country against all the odds. They get one chance to prove themselves in combat and the rake up one of the best kills/loss records in history without losing a single man. After this they get new planes and a new mission escorting bombers on their missions this gives them a chance to gain respect from the solider they are protecting and the country they are representing.
Sure this isn’t just a war film it is a film about a group of men having their chance to prove everyone wrong. We have always seen films about men fighting against numerical odds in war but this shows the struggle the African American solider had to get the same respect the white solider got during World War II. We have our overall generic motivation speeches, characters and the over the top sudden acceptance which is the last case sometimes feels slightly out of place and very Hollywood, even though I am sure they all gained the respect they deserved. It gives a good look at how through history we have been naive with how we treated people and how every man gives the same in the fight for his country. (8/10)
Terrence Howard: Colonel AJ Bullard the man fighting to keep his man in the planes and trying to give them a chance to fight the war. He gives the motivational speeches but also lets the spotlight shine on the pilots who risk their lives. Terrence gives a good performance but it would be fair to say he isn’t the star of the show. (7/10)
Cuba Gooding Jr: Major Emanuelle Stance tasked with keeping the pilots motivated when they are facing the battle to stay in the planes instead of being part of the front. He keeps the pilots in line but never flies himself. Cuba gives a good performance but much like Terrance he lets the pilots shine through the film. (7/10)
Nate Parker: Marty ‘Easy’ Julian leader in the sky who has trouble to keeping his men in order with Lightning always wanting to do things his way. He has a drinking problem and always wants to keep his men safe. Nate gives a great performance battling to keep his men safe and his talks with Lightning are very good. (8/10)
David Oyelowo: Joe ‘Lightning’ Little, the crazy pilot who always takes a risk and goes against orders. He is the showboat pilot but that is because he is the best, he constantly questions Easy’s authority and his ability to be the leader while he drinks. David steals the show in this film easily one of the most likeable characters in modern war films. (9/10)
Tristan Wilds: Ray ‘Junior’ Gannon the calmer but nervous member of the team who is the opposite to Lightning. He wants to get taken more seriously but after being hit in battle a question mark is left over his head about his flaying ability. Good performance from Tristan who keeps up with the bigger name involved in the film. (8/10)
Support Cast: Filled with the rest of the unit, solider whose respect they gain and the men in charge who refuse to give these men a chance. Each supporting member of the cast helps the story continue and gives our main characters a different reaction to each event.
Director Review: Anthony Hemingway – Anthony does a great job directing a film that shows the battle for everyone to fight for the same thing regardless of their colour. (8/10)
Action: The dog fights are put together and filmed brilliantly. (9/10)
Drama: We get to see some of the personal battles the men have and a thin romantic story. (7/10)
History: Great look at how these men stood up to make a difference during the war against all the odds. (10/10)
War: Set in World War II and showing the conflict in dog fights that all comes off very well. (9/10)
Chemistry: The men show a great unity throughout the film not letting anything come between them. (9/10)
Settings: Only using three main settings the base, small Italian town and the skies where the battles happen. Each one is used well to continue telling the story of what these men achieved. (8/10)
Special Effects: The effects used to create the dog fights are brilliant. (9/10)
Suggestion: I think most people should watch this but I understand why some people might not like this, I do suggest trying it and I think if you do you will be rewarded. (Try It)
Best Part: Lightning’s new move.
Worst Part: Slightly over hero like reaction to everything they achieve.
Action Scene Of The Film: The first battle the Red Tails are involved in.
Believability: Based on the real men who fought for their right to fight. (9/10)
Chances of Tears: you might have a few by the end. (5/10)
Chances of Sequel: It has a prequel and sequel planned.
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $50 Million
Budget: $58 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes
Tagline: Courage has no colour
Overall: Great Wartime Film