Sure, a January release is never a good sign, but how can you have low expectations for a film about the feats of WWII’s Tuskegee Airmen? Plus, you’d think a script based on such a stirring true story would have enough of a head start not to fall into too many holes. Maybe I don’t know as much as I think about screenwriting, but I know enough to say that Red Tails has a downright terrible script and it’s that bad apple that poisoned the rest of what could have been a really exciting and moving film.
Red Tails tells the story of the pilots in the Tuskegee training program in World War II, specifically Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker), Joe “Lightning” Little (David Oyelowo), Ray “Ray Gun” Gannon (Tristan Wilds) and Samuel “Joker” George (Elijah Kelley). The foursome makes for an excellent team, but thanks to segregation, they’re stuck shooting ground bound targets like trains and trucks while the white pilots fight off the enemy during bomber escorts.
However, their big day finally comes and thanks to some negotiating on behalf of Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard), Easy, Lightning and the rest of the Tuskegee Airmen get to take to the sky and guard the bombers from German attack. While the guys are thrilled with the success of their mission and the opportunity for more chances to fight, the pressure increases as they come to the realization that they really can die out there.
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