I did not watch the State of the Union last night. Instead of hearing a speech by a man of little accomplishment and great acclaim, I went to see a movie about men of great accomplishment and little acclaim, Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen and their valor in World War II.
All I can saw is get yourself to the cinema and see this movie (and make sure to bring a handkerchief).
It’s cheesy and has, particularly at the outset, some really clunky dialogue, but later on, there are also some great lines. And some amazing scenes. In the end, you forget cheesiness and focus on the story, the hotshot pilot who just wants to shoot down Nazis, his commanding officer who has trouble with the booze.
Some of the film’s flaws, like those in our friends, make the film more endearing, like the imprisoned American officer who can’t disguise his Australian accent — or Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s attempt to imitate Douglas MacArthur by dramatically clenching his teeth on a curved pipe. (Perhaps because Gooding is such a likable guy, he can get away with this — and, in my eyes, he does.) In the end, it’s just a feel-good story about a group Americans who want to serve the country even as some in their country’s leadership question their ability to serve.
The pacing of the film is such that you’re drawn into the story and easily forget its shortcomings. Director Anthony Hemingway focused on making it an action film, starting in the air rather than tell us about the Tuskegee program. It is not as great a film as Glory to which I’m sure it’s been compared, but it doesn’t need to be. It entertains us, it moves us — and reminds us of some forgotten men of the greatest generation, men who helped defeat one of the greatest evils of all time.
This is why they make movies.