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Red Flag is the international training exercise for air forces of allied countries where many of the world's best pilots meet for the most challenging flying of their careers. Red Flag is the final training for pilots and their aircrews before being sent into actual combat. Follow pilot, John Stratton, as he makes his way through this extraordinary event held in the desert of Nevada. Written by
I was excited at the prospect of watching Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag, thinking that it would be a genuine documentary. How wrong I was. The saccharine sweet narration can be rather vomit inducing at times, however in places it is delivered in a dull, lifeless monotone. The documentary aspect of the film is very shallow indeed as it simply glosses over things and never really actually educates or demonstrates anything, we are just treated to some very basic facts figures over the top of some visuals that are, admittedly, stunning.
Some of the cinematography is excellent and I would love to be able to say make the whole experience worthwhile however it suffers from bad editing and staging and a lack of continuity making it obvious that many shots were filmed in various locations nowhere near Red Flag, and during some of the dogfight sequences it's hard to keep track of who is who as the aircraft keep chopping and changing between shots so you have no real idea who is flying what.
There is an excessive amount of pyrotechnics used to stage various explosions making the whole affair feel rather fake and forced. Ultimately this isn't a documentary and it isn't a film. It doesn't educate and it doesn't entertain, and it feels like a huge missed opportunity given the access the film crew had to the Red Flag exercises.
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