The Tuskegee Airmen have been the subjects of previous films. Mostly of the documentary variety. They were the first African American fighter pilots to fight for the United States in World War II. Having to deal with the Germans in the air and with racism against them from their own side, they became heroes for all African American military men and women from this time on. What the Tuskegee Airman did was a precursor to the civil rights movement years later.
During World War II after going through training a Tuskegee an African American squad is ready to fight. They are a group of skilled fighter pilots, who are, due to racism, given simple tasks to do rather than actual fighting. It is only when the Allied troops are not doing so well and their leader Colonel A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard – Hustle & Flow, Iron Man) fights for them that they are given a real assignment.
The Tuskegee Airmen, also known as the Red Tails because they painted the tails of their planes red, were led by Major Emanuelle Stance (Cuba Gooding Jr. – Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets). Up in the air the leader is “Easy” (Nate Parker – The Secret Life of Bees, The Debater), a man who has to drink to get through the war, the most talented pilot is “Lightning” (David Oyelowo – The Last King of Scotland, The Help) and others are “Smoky” (Ne-Yo – Stomp the Yard), “Junior” (Tristan Wilds – from television’s 90210), “Joker” (Elijah Kelley – Hairspray – 2007, Take the Lead), and “Neon” (Kevin Phillips – Notorious). Each man has their talents and each has their issues.
On the plus side the CGI and aerial stunts were very cool, but when it comes down to it a good film needs to have more than special effects going for it. The story itself is a great one, but somehow they get it all wrong here. It seems like just a bunch of random scenes just tacked together. The acting is horrible. They should have spent as much time and money on the story and dialogue as they did on the way it looked (shame on you, George Lucas!!). In the end instead of celebrating these heroes it does them a disservice (pun intended!).
-Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War
-George Lucas: Executive Producer
-Anthony Hemingway: Director
-Terrance Blanchard: Composer
-The Cast of Red Tails