Movie Review: Red Tails
By Sam Johnson
Sentinel Contributing Writer
When talk of doing another film about the Tuskegee Airmen came about in Hollywood, apparently there were not too many producers on board. For several reasons some of which George Lucas discussed in interviews, he was not able to get the funding he initially needed. So, fast forward twenty some odd years and here we have it; an all-star cast, a more in-depth, perhaps, sequel to HBO’s Tuskegee Airmen; most notably, the biggest budgeted film in African American cinema funded by Lucas himself. Ladies and Gentlemen, Red Tails.
The story follows the triumphs and tragedies of the Tuskegee Airmen’s experiences during World War II. Unlike the first Tuskegee Airmen film, Red Tails digs deeper giving a more up close and personal understanding of the Tuskegee Airmen by allowing its audience to see who they were outside of their uniforms. The film gave the audience loveable characters with sincerity that placed viewers right in the seats of the casualties of war. Whether it was Deacon’s sermons about his belief in Black Jesus, Joe “Lighting” Little’s arrogance to be the best pilot or Martin “Easy” Julian’s determination to be a good leader, Red Tails provides plenty of reasons to smile.
The flight scenes were extremely strong. Lucas was able to give an authentic feel that provided just as much fun as Top Gun. When flying with the Tuskegee Airmen, two things are guaranteed: one will leave the flight feeling proud to have served their country and more so overjoyed to be a part of this 332nd Fighter Group. Embrace Col. Bullard’s (Howard) fight for his men, respect the stripes of Major Stance (Gooding Jr.) but most of all, embark upon the history lesson about courage and achieving the impossible. As Black History month approaches, Red Tails is a film that should be cherished with great pride, honor and dignity. The film’s heart and soul is what makes it such a winner. Go grab your tickets and take flight with Red Tails. It’s a great ride.
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2012; Rated: PG-13; Length 120 Minutes; With: Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard & Nate Parker