You go away for two weeks and a film opens in the cinemas and manages to disappear before you’re back. Well, not strictly true, as we managed to find Red Tails in one further away cinema, at 10.30 on a Saturday morning, for which we are grateful. I see reviewers on IMDb generally thought it’s a dreadful film, but we beg to differ. It does explain why the film made a hasty retreat from a screen near us, though.
This is the story about black pilots in the US air force during WWII, finally getting the opportunity to show they are as capable and brave as other fighting men. Seen from the 21st century some of the prejudice is shocking, but a lot of the time it would seem the changes are mainly superficial.
It goes without saying that someone will die. You just can’t be certain who, or how many. No one is awful enough that you wish them dead, and you know someone nice will die a hero at some point.
Very unusual to see a film with almost only black actors in it, and it is to be applauded for that, if nothing else. It’s positive discrimination, but sometimes you need that. I didn’t know a single one of the actors before, so it took some getting to know them. Not easy when half the time they hide most of their faces behind flying masks, leaving you staring at eyes and some uncomfortable looking cheeks.
Daniela Ruah plays a passable Italian love interest for one pilot. The token German is very token indeed, and I wonder why the German lines always sound so simple and laboured?
Where others clearly cried over the awfulness of Red Tails, we cried over the drama and enjoyed it.
I can’t help but think that prejudice has been at large in making people reluctant to watch, or like this film. Why watch black actors portraying real soldiers from a real war, when you can have over-paid, famous actors do stupid things in fantasy horror adventures with plenty of sex?