Directed by: Anthony Hemingway
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Daniela Ruah, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Ryan Early, Method Man, Elijah Kelly and Ne-Yo.
Based on the Tuskegee Airmen, we follow a group of African American pilots in the middle of World War II.
While it's not the first film with an all black cast, it doesn't stand out as much as any other movie. Yes, it has action, good special effects and average to decent acting. However, despite its colorful sequences and calibrated aerial dogfights, it was just boring. Not a bad film, but not along the lines of Pearl Harbor or even Memphis Belle. I wasn't going into the auditorium expecting this movie to be heavy or over the top. At least, I would have liked to see some major drama. Since African Americans were always dismissed and treated poorly back in the day, you would think we could dive into some of the characters in depth with how they deal with the problems of their color. Nope, nope, nope. Nada.
We do get a history lesson, where the faithful 332nd Fighter Group are as important to us as their counterpart brothers. They fought against racism and delivered the highest expectations belittles by the white man. This is all fine and dandy but history adapted to a feature film doesn't mean a damn thing unless your performers can deliver above average acting. Even the top billed actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard just stayed on the sidelines, where one simply smokes and the other takes lip from his superiors. Lets not forget the beautiful Daniel Rush from NCIS: Los Angeles, but hey, we need something beautiful to look at to ease our stressed minds from cheese and ham. She doesn't do anything except speak Italian and be part of a love story that, from what I've heard, never happened. For a movie to represent the country's heroes, they weren't displayed too well.
In an interview with JohnStewart on The Daily Show, George Lucas said:
"I am hoping that if we have successful first weekend, there will be a prequel and a sequel, and they are better than this movie by a long shot..." Sure...
And of course, the cherry on top... "This is as close that you will ever get to Episode VII..."
The visuals were really good, at least for me. I could tell at the times the green screen was in play, but steering away from the close-ups of the c*ckpits, the aerial battles were top notch. Since Lucas, our Jabba the Hut executive producer was inspired by these air battles for the space sequences in Star Wars, its not surprise we get the same treatment here. I even had the chance to see a behind-the-scenes video on how they filmed the characters in their planes. It would have been fun to see the detailed style the film was originally going to be like, a la Lawrence of Arabia.
Overall, the battles are entertaining, but the rest is just boring. But, I'm fair. If this is indeed Luca's last time involved with big productions, I am very disappointed. 24 years in the making? It would have faired better back in its original 1992 release.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.