A couple weekends ago Dan came up from Columbus to visit. We love history (we both earned degrees in social studies education), and thought the new movie Red Tails looked interesting, despite its possible cheesiness, so we went to the theaters to see it.
Notable Cast Members: Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds
Overall Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ (rating rationale)
While the Tuskegee program in the military allowed African-Americans the opportunity to be trained as pilots and take part in the U.S.A.'s WWII efforts, it did not initially allow them to participate in missions that put them in direct action against the enemy. Red Tails tells the story of these talented men and how they fought both the Axis powers and segregation within the U.S. military while stationed in Europe.
Personal Thoughts below the movie poster & CONTAINS SPOILERS
Personal Thoughts (WITH SPOILERS):
I went into the movie knowing there would be cheesy parts based on what I saw in its trailer. I did not mind most of the cheesy parts of the movie. In fact, what could have been the cheesiest parts of the movie were not cheesy at all because of the amazing acting ability of Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Terrence Howard (Gooding, Jr., plays Major Emanuelle Stance, who leads the Red Tails, and Howard plays his commanding officer, Colonel A.J. Bullard). The parts I had the major issues with were the very beginning and the very end of the movie. The beginning of the movie made me cringe. It was poorly done, feeling like an awkward simulation rather than the opening of a story. The ending was just plain terrible. As far as I know, while this movie is inspired by true events, it is not actually based on any real individuals (please correct me if I am wrong!). That being said, I do not understand why the writers of the movie chose to conclude the story the way they did. Killing off the pretty much the only likable character not played by Terrence Howard or Cuba Gooding, Jr., or at least the only other character they clearly wanted you to cheer for, and then abruptly ending the film was like someone unexpectedly splashed my face with cold water. I think I actually turned to Dan in the theater and said, "What the hell?!" I did not feel that was a unnecessary turn of events for the story or the way to let it end. It pretty much ruined the movie for me. All that being said, I would not recommend seeing this movie in theaters. I wouldn't pay for a rental to watch it again, either (although if I had never seen it and had only paid $2 at Redbox to see it I wouldn't have been mad). I might settle in to give it a second chance if I ever happen to come across it on TV.