Laurence Fishburne played the part of Hannibal Lee in The Tuskegee Airmen with aplomb. In my opinion, he and his co-actors did their level best to accurately portray the rise of the African American Airmen, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Enter George Lucas’ attempt to resurrect his studio efforts with a rewrite of history in “Red Tails.”
I’m sorry, but the first three minutes simply don’t ring true. I’ve flown with outstanding airmen of all races, creeds, and gender. We referred to ourselves by our crew positions, not our “call signs,” and certainly not by our race, creed, or belief. I thoroughly enjoyed The Tuskegee Airmen, and based upon my limited knowledge of the time, believed it to be a fairly accurate portrayal.
The next ten minutes didn’t ring true, and neither did the rest of the movie. Put simply, it’s sensationalistic movie-making at it’s best. While the graphics might be flashier than those found in The Tuskegee Airmen, the movie with Lawrence Fishburne painted a far more accurate picture of what our brothers in arms went through back then. Red Tails wasn’t just rough. It was ridiculous.
I think folks who try to over-sensationalize whatever the “topic of the day” might be wind up undermining the better interests of the American people at large. Misinformation is always a disservice. I think George Lucas is reaching for new ground, and can’t quite figure out how to get there. Reinventing world history via over-sensationalistic cinema-drama isn’t the right approach. It just doesn’t ring true with any of us who’ve been there, or who’ve studied it, or who’ve had parents, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, grandmothers, or anyone else we know of whose been there.
Bottom line, one way or another, we’ve all been there. This was a snow white job, trying to make things seem something more than they ought. On top of it all, the graphics were freshman, at best. We could see 1980’s quality graphics throughout the movie, so definitely not a step up.
Red Tails needs to turn tails between their legs. If you want a far more authentic flick of these outstanding airmen during WWII, catch The Tuskegee Airmen. Well worth a look!
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