Home / Spring 2012 / 2012-02-02 / ‘Red Tails’ lacks historical accuracy

‘Red Tails’ lacks historical accuracy

The newly released film, “Red Tails,” produced by the great George Lucas and directed by Anthony Hemingway, lacks a few, certain elements that are important to the success of a great war movie, giving it somewhat of a lackluster vibe.

Based on the true story of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, the movie’s big names are Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. However, both play a much more secondary role to that of the airmen themselves.

With good intention in mind, the folks behind “Red Tails” were obviously trying to emphasize the racial prejudices that were undoubtedly present during WWII times.

Unfortunately, [they] did not emphasize it enough.

The real Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to far crueler treatment by their white counterparts and the movie simply fails to capture the harsh bigotry that plagued that time in history.

“It was not quite what I was expecting from a movie about war,” Jason Weatherington, 28, said. “Some parts were a little boring, but I think it was decent overall.”

Furthermore, as the plot unfolds and then concludes, one never quite seems to establish an emotional connection with any one member of the Tuskegee pilots, giving the viewers a much less sense of remorse when certain members of the fleet fall victim to enemy gunfire.

Deep connections with one or more characters in a good war movie tend to get the audience whole-heartedly involved and sympathetic, a characteristic that “Red Tails” fails to capture.

Unfortunately, “Red Tails” also incorporates multiple and unnecessary romance scenes which take away from the main idea of the story – war.

“It was a little long and drawn out for my taste,” Jamie Cantrell, 36, said. “I would not recommend paying to see it in theaters, but instead just wait for the DVD.”

Much of the film’s love affair between an airman and an Italian woman could have easily been scratched from the film, cutting the movie time down by a solid half hour and saving the action-seeking audience the unexciting drawl of kissing and tears.

On a positive note, there are many scenes throughout the movie of intense air-combat [and] these scenes definitely prove to be the highlight of the film.

Lucas and Hemingway do a bang-up job on the effects and the dog fights do indeed grab and hold the viewers’ attention.

Generously critiquing the film, “Red Tails” earns a ‘B-’ at best for its lacking elements and historical inaccuracy.

The best bet would be to wait until it comes out on Netflix, making it possible to skip over one third of the movie.

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3 comments

  1. There were some other historical inaccuracies in the movie. Before transitioning to the P-51 Mustang (also models B, besides the famous D which is the only type shown in the movie), the Tuskegee Airmen also flew the P-39 Airacobra and the P-47 Thunderbolt.
    In the combat scene where the Tuskegee Airmen fly top cover for a landing operation, the German ME 109 planes are sporting gunpods. In real life, such planes would have required to be escorted since the above mentioned gunpods drastically hampered the performance of the planes carrying them (plus they could not be jettisoned in midflight).
    Maybe the moviemakers decided to include those pods because the nose armament of the ME 109G might not look ‘cool’ to the audience. Carrying an engine-mounted 30 mm autocannon and two 13 mm heavy machine guns, the ME 109G could do a lot of damage since all its firepower could be concentrated in one relatively small area.
    By the way, in the air battle scene with the German ME 262 jets, for a moment, their jet engines sound like jet engines in vintage Warner Bros cartoons of the 1950s.

    • Sadly very inaccurate and laughable, they lost 66 men total in WWII most B-17 crews lost numbers like that on 1 mission, they went up against 14-15 year old German Hitler Youth pilots, not experienced Luftwaffe pilots, then one pilot promises to buy another a new cell phone when they get home to Chiao, obviously this was financed by Obama and his Planet Administration.

      • I loved the movie and my school is doing a history vs hollywood project where students try and find the false in the movies related to history. AND OBAMA SUCKS ^^

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