Baron Manfred von Richthofen is the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I. To him and his companions, air combats are events of sporty nature, technical challenge and honorable acting, ignoring the terrible extent of war. But after falling in love with the nurse Käte, Manfred realizes he is only used for propaganda means. Caught between his disgust for the war, and the responsibility for his fighter wing, von Richthofen sets out to fly again. Written by
Val Kilmer was initially considered for the title role, even though during filming he would have been in his late 40s, at least 20 years older than the real Manfred von Richthofen ever lived to be. See more »
When the "boys" are taxing the Curtiss Jenny around and one of them hits the haystack - the closeup of him sitting in the airplane, there is a radio antenna on the fuselage just forward of the vertical fin. See more »
I had the opportunity to see this film yesterday during a pre-screening in hamburg. Technically not yet perfect (in terms of grading, sound design and some effects) we saw the final cut. And I am truly pleasantly surprised. The film being a German production, the lead roles Germans, mixed with an international cast, made me extremely skeptical because - apart from the perfume - I haven't seen a truly convincing German project for a "big film" yet. BUT, this film was really well done. Good performances by all actors throughout, an amazing production design, and - best of all - really astonishing and eye catching visual effects and cgi. The effects were very subtle all over and never really recognizable. That makes good VFX!
The film itself is not a flat action/history flick, it has a message to tell and that comes across really well. The relationship between the baron and his girl is told in a very subtle way, no cheesy romance-scenes. It all happens during WW1, there was simply no time for big emotions. So we don't see a "Pearl Harbour" Hollywood flick, but a picture that shows how it really might have been - flying a plane during war. There are no clichés, just a portrait of a hero that did not even want to be one. And the cruelty and absurdity of war itself, as even the main protagonist has to learn. The ending is also well done and not cheesy or over the top. Apart from that the film did not really grab me, I enjoyed watching but was seldomly thrilled or emotionally moved. Maybe some of the characters were simply a little too flat. Also the film jumps at times and leaves out some interesting battle scenes, I had the impression they did it to keep the VFX work down.. Overall I give it a 6.5/10.
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