REDTAILS A CRITIQUE
TNTRODUCTION TO FILM ENGLISH 225
INSTRUCTOR DAVID PREIZLER
February 18, 2013
“Blacks are mentally inferior by nature subservient and cowards in the face of danger and are therefore unfit for combat” (U.S. Army War College War Study 1925). This is a quote in the opening of the movie. This movie is a testament to the men who proved the Army wrong. Though there are critics who did not like this movie they are in the minority. This movie is an adventure film that brings to light the true meaning of brotherhood , because these men function as a unit, and proof that Black Men can serve in a combat unit. This film also brings to light the struggles that these men went through to prove their worth. The idea behind this movie is to show society the bravery and determination of a group of Black Men to prove that they can fight for their country as well as any White man. The point is proven in this movie. The story is told in an all knowing point of view. It is not centered on the thoughts and feels of any one person but on all of the characters in the movie. The plot is told in chronological order starting with their first mission , although not in a combat capacity, which is not only successful but goes beyond in destroying a train which was disguised as civilian but was actually a military train loaded with guns and soldiers. The story takes place in Italy during World War II. The unit is made up of most college students who left school to serve in the Army. Their goal was to be pilots. After numerous test they qualified to be in the pilot program. This was a new unit made up of all African Americans. It was an experiment that the Army was sure would fail. Hollywood believed that the movie itself would fail. It took more than 20 years for George Lucas to get this movie made. “ More than 2 decades in the making George Lucas” passion project “Red Tails” hit theaters today after a long search to find a distributor that wanted to market an expensive film with an all-black cast. Lucas spent $58 million of his own money to produce “Red Tails , an action movie about the Tuskegee Airmen the first All- African American aerial combat unit that paved the way for the intergration of the U.S. Armed Services. It was a risky venture by Hollywood standards and one that Director Anthony Hemingway said carried enormous responsibility. ( Payne Amber and Caron Christina NBC News January 20 2012.)
ACTING AND ACTORS
The main characters in this movie are played by mostly actors that are well known. Terrence Howard plays Colonel A.J. Bullard who reports back to Washington D. C. on the progress of the unit. It is a constant struggle for him. He is always fighting for the survival of his unit. Terrence Howard is well known to me. He has been in comedies as well as drama. Most of his latter career has been drama. The movie The Best Man was a mixture of both and his character handled the transition well.
Cuba Gooden Jr. plays Major Emanuelle Stance. He is in charge of the actual unit and gives the men their orders. Gooden like Howard does both comedy and drama. Like Howard most of his latest movies have been drama. He won an Academy Award for his part in the movie Jerry Mcguire which was comedy , but if you want to see him at his best watch the movie “The Hit List” this is a drama and he plays the part of a hit man to a tee.
The movie “ Red Tails is not a comedy but both of these actors excel in their parts. The other actors in the film are not as well known as these two but most of them are well know in the African American community. An example of this would be Ne-Yo. He plays Smokey in this movie. Ne-Yo is better known as a singer of R&B but he also starred in the Movie “Stomp The Yard”. I have not seen him in a comedy so his focus , other than his singing career , is drama.
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