“Red Tails” (It Made the Tide Fly High!)

The Tuskegee Airmen deserve better. Those brave black men who flew in WWII get a major motion picture and it’s not nearly as good as it should have been.

This is the movie that the Alabama Crimson Tide football team saw the night before they crushed LSU. The story of dealing with adversity and performing well in a high-pressure situation delivers an upbeat, feel-good ending. The air battles provide thrills. The message is clear: working as a team is the road to victory. Roll Tide!

Sadly, “Red Tails” is plagued with hokey war movie dialogue and plot clichés. Since the movie is inspired by true events, the script (co-written by Aaron “Boondocks” MacGruder) should have been more realistic. My guess is that producers felt the film may have needed some of those familiar Hollywood elements to overcome inherent marketing problems.

The acting is generally good. I felt that Terrence Howard was miscast; a more Denzel-like player would’ve given more strength and credibility to the role of unit leader Colonel Bullard.

Will “Red Tails” with a primarily black cast cross over to attract white audiences? As they say at the end of TV news reports, “only time will tell.” “Red Tails” is an entertaining movie. You will feel a patriotic rush at the movie’s climax. It’s just unfortunate that the movie is not better than it is.

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