This fantastic portrayal of World War II’s first African-American fighter squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen, has been brought to life by director Anthony Hemingway and producer George Lucas.
Set in 1944 Italy, Red Tails explores not only the battle the Americans fought against the German Nazis, but also their own personal battles and the battle they faced with segregation laws.
With an all-star cast, this film follows Major Emanuelle Stance (Cuba Gooding Jr) as he guides his men into air assaults despite the resistance they faced from their own side: fellow white Americans reluctant to drop segregation laws and accept black fighter pilots as equals.
Joe “Lightening” Little (David Oyelowo) is the hot-head of the group always looking for the fight, be it with the Nazis, or white soldiers on the American side. Lightning’s roommate, Marty “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker), is fighting his own personal demons, including his penchant for alcohol.
Intertwined with the breathtaking dogfights, is a tender romance between Lightening and a beautiful local Italian woman, Sofia (Daniela Ruah). Highlighted by the language barrier, their unlikely relationship provides a light relief from the intensity of the other aspects of the film.
Humour itself is heavily reliant on the banter between the men, but it is hugely successful and definitely makes the characters more engaging.
The Nazis, as always, are depicted as the ultimate enemy. Their evilness is exaggerated for effect and their mannerisms juxtapose the light-hearted camaraderie of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Overall, Red Tails is a thoroughly enjoyable watch. For 124 minutes, the film holds the viewer’s constant attention, taking you through a tingling array of emotions from start to finish.
The dogfight scenes in the sky, teamed with special effects and pyrotechnics are so realistic, they will figuratively blow you away.
Red Tails is quite literally, a soaring success.
Red Tails is out in cinemas on 6th June 2012.
Watch the trailer for Red Tails here