“Red Tails” Review

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Red Tails opens with the disclaimer that it is “Inspired by a True Story,” which is pretty true, given that many liberties were taken with the historical events portrayed in the film.

If you can overlook those, along with the somewhat unbelievable flight sequences (visually very exciting, but aircraft simply do not do the kinds of maneuvers repeatedly shown in the film), you’ll find the film to be exciting and dramatic.

Having had the privilege in past years to have talked at length with three members of the Tuskegee Airmen, I found the portrayal in the film to be a bit disappointing – the men I spoke with were incredibly humble, and while they did not gloss over the racial challenges they faced, it was clear that they were fighting as Americans first, for freedom.

The one other touchpoint I have with this group of courageous men is that my great-uncle (Perry Dillman) was a flight instructor at Tuskegee during WWII and trained a number of these men. Uncle Perry related two different occasions where he and his student had to bail out of the T-6 trainer they were flying – in one case because of a mid-air collision. Flight instructors (to this day) are quick to tell you that student pilots exist for only one reason – to kill the instructor!

This is probably not a film for younger folks. The IMDB entry contains a Parental Guidance section that will help you decide. There was quite a bit of distasteful/foul language, and the battle scenes were very intense, but not necessarily gratuitous in what they showed.

While not a documentary by any stretch (though many will treat it as such, unfortunately), it was an exciting film.

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