Red Tails is a movie depicting one of the most inspiring tales of the entirety of World War II, an event which is already absolutely filled with inspiring tales, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Unfortunately, this movie absolutely dishonors that memory as it presents it in the worst way possible, with terrible writing, bad acting, and a storyline as predictable as it is bad.
The one bone I can throw to this movie is that it taught me that I am not a true Star Wars fan. I saw George Lucas’ name and instead of being filled with an inexplicable werewolf rage I thought “hey, this might not be that bad.” I was wrong. I am reminded of why I hate Episodes I-III. George Lucas should feel ashamed for what he has done.
The first thing that made me angry about this movie is the writing. I say this because a large amount of the writing sounded to me like something I would write to make fun of it. This movie is actually hard for me to make fun of. It’s a huge comment on the flick that the biggest embarrassment I could inflict on the movie is to direct you to its script. I say this in all honesty; go find the script for the sections of the movie with bomber pilots. I feel genuinely embarrassed for the people who this movie was supposed to depict. The Tuskegee Airmen are American heroes and deserve a hell of a lot better than this garbage.
The next thing I have to gripe about is the acting, which is awful. To their credit, it did get better as the movie progressed, but that fact doesn’t make it better overall. They really needed better acting coaches, or something. I don’t even know what to say here. The actors look wooden, even when they didn’t read their lines off like they were giving a high school public speaking presentation.
The one thing though that could have redeemed the entire movie, the dogfighting, also failed miserably. Not even confronting the fact that the CGI is worse than some movies from the 90s, they must have filmed two different planes crashing and breaking apart for the movie. That doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, until you watch scenes where they destroy 4 or 5 planes in a row, and every single one of them takes exactly the same damage and breaks apart in exactly the same way, smoke and all. It felt like they weren’t even trying.
Overall, I’m not sure what to tell you about this movie. I would love to ask you to see it to support the memory of some truly heroic Americans who gave their lives for this country, only to come home to face segregation and adversity. On the other hand, I have watched piles of garbage that had higher quality acting than this movie.