Well, this was not a great movie about the air war in the First World War. It suffers in terms of pacing, plot and technical details of the planes used. If you are looking for an action packed flying movies, L'instinct de l'ange (retitled Angel's Wing in the US DVD) will disappoint you with its languid pacing, and rather silly plot. The premise that a French pilot could became so successful that his squadron grows to hate him for his luck, to the point of wanting him dead seems artificial to me. I really did not find the ending plausible or enjoyable in any way. None of the main characters are very likable, other than the hero, so the final murder is rather shocking, though not entirely a surprise.
For aviation buffs the mix of historic, anachronistic and fake planes will surely disappoint as well. The fake SE5 fighters were particularly wrong, since they were obviously modified postwar-Tiger Moths, and the French did not use the British SE5 anyway. This is unfortunately not unique. I have yet to see a single film about WWI aviation that used historically accurate planes. Though Flyboys was closer to historical plane use, that film chose to have to many Red Fokker Triplanes, despite having nor Manfred von Richthofen character. It was nice to see the real Morane-Saulnier AIs in the early part of the film.
The film seems to be an attempt to make a film about WWI pilots that undercuts the heroic myth of "knights of the air," but it throws away chances to show the horror of war. Though the squadron is full of frightened pilots, superstitious about luck, we are only shown evidence of the death of one of the jealous officers: his funeral is shown, but not his actual fall in combat. There are some crash scenes, and a gruesome viewing of a dead German in a trench, but the full horror of the first mechanized war is not well illustrated.
If you want to watch a good movie about pilots at war, I recommend Dark Blue World, about two Czech pilots who flee the Nazis in World War Two to join the RAF in Britain. That movie has the humanity and pathos that are so sorely lacking in Angel's Wing.
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