Pride. Honor. Courage. The men who fought and died for this country all had these qualities. Sadly, in all the stories shared of “The Greatest Generation” since WWII ended, the story of the famed Red Tails is one that has been shared far less than that of other groups. So when word came out that a big budget Hollywood feature centered on one of the United States military’s greatest ever fighting groups would be made, it was a welcome announcement. And the end result was not bad. However, it still could have been better. What can be said of Red Tails is that it is at least a nice starting point in the history of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Red Tails wastes no time getting right into the story. It starts off with the squadron on the equivalent of a scouting mission. Thanks to writers Aaron McGruder and John Ridley, audiences are immediately told of how the Tuskegee Airmen were kept from flying real missions until Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) convinces the military brass that his men deserve the chance to fly real combat missions. The action moves rather quickly from there. To the writers’ credit, at least the story does keep the melodrama to an extreme minimum, opting instead for featuring the deeds of this fearless group of pilots.
Red Tails shares with audiences a sampling of what made the Tuskegee Airmen the great group of pilots that they have come to be known as today. However, where it succeeds in presenting wonderful representations of the pilots’ achievements, it comes up short in their overall history. It would have been nice to get more background on how the all black air wing was first created and how it ended up in Italy. Simply put, while Red Tails is a good starting point, there is still so much more that can and should be shared about what is one of the most important group of servicemen to ever don the uniform and fly the flag of the United States of America.
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