Red Tails Movie Review
This movie covers the Tuskegee Air Men, a group of Negro pilots who fought for the American Air Force in World War II. Overall, this is an excellent film. The inclusion of the romance of Lightning, the most aggressive pilot of the squadron, really helped to show the same impact of life and death, love and loss hits all men and women the same - regardless of color.
Unification Transcending Color
One scene in the movie sets up a very nice reconciliation later. Lightning enters a bar with a sign identifying it as a bar for American officers. When he enters, the talking stops. First, they tell him the bar is only for officers. After Lightning points out that he is an officer, they let him know his color is not welcome.
The end result is Lightning jailed for fighting.
Later in the film, after the Red Tails guided a squadron of heavy bombers safely within range of the target, and back again through German fighter territory, the white bomber pilots receive them with gratitude and invite them for a drink. They take them into the same bar where Lightning had previously been rejected.
Personally, I like a film in which there does not have to be some loser, some bad guy whose death in the final scene is designed to make the viewer cheer and feel good about the death of a human being. In this film, an initial group of bad guys- white pilots with bias -gets redeemed when they accept and honor the role of the Red Tail pilots in keeping them safe from German attack planes. This movie does have one bad guy who bites the bullet. The lead German pilot, nicknamed "pretty boy" by the Red Tails squadron, is killed in the end. The redemption of some negative characters brings a little more merit to this film. I like to see that. Redemption is always a good thing.
The Christian Gets It
Like far too many movies in recent years, a Christian is made to look bad. One of the pilots of the Tuskegee Air Men is called "Deek" by the others. (I assume this may be short for deacon).
Deek has a playing card sized picture of a painting of "black Jesus". Deek can be heard to say many times "Black Jesus, watch over us." Or, "I trust in Black Jesus to get me home." Deek never says just "Jesus". He always refers to Black Jesus.
As soon as they identified the Christian pilot, I knew, "This guy is going to die." It is as predictable as a red-shirt security guard on a Star Trek away team beamed to the surface- they are going to die and everyone knows it. It is now more predictable that the Christian will die than it is that the black members of a multi-racial group will die in man-vs-nature or horror films. Hollywood has it's favorites, and those they hate. Christians have moved to the top of the list, it seems!
Sure enough, Deek gets shot and severely wounded. He attempts to return to base with his crippled plane. Fuel is leaking into the cockpit, soaking his uniform. When he lands, the plane breaks up. Deek survives, covered in 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body. (A fate worse than death?)
Other examples: In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20, 2011), a Christian missionary seems to be blessed in surviving calamity after calamity. In the end, however, to save his life, he makes a deal with a mermaid (which are portrayed as demons in the film), and goes to live with her "forever" at the bottom of the sea. In Pulp Fiction, when Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) tells a story of a Christian man who was saved in Vietnam when a bullet hit the Bible in his chest pocket, Jules punctuates the story by saying, "And he would still be alive today if he had another Bible in front of his face."
A Good Film Overall
Still, this is a good movie to view. We must remember how bigots can unfairly judge others based on race, creed, color and religion.This movie does a good job of addressing the color aspect of hatred and bigotry.
We should note, however, that the same film continues a pervasive hate attack on Christians.