A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
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
The financing for the film came exclusively from well-to-do private individuals living in the state of Baden-Württemberg and was raised by the Stuttgart-based film financing and production house Niama Film, which was established by director Nikolai Müllerschön with partners Thomas Reisser, Roland Pellegrino and Dan Maag. See more »
(at around 16 mins) You can see The Red Baron with his goggles on, but they disappear in the next scene. See more »
Despite an ending that can't help but make the viewer feel a little cheated, this film is a success on many levels. Only a little historical inaccuracy, which while certainly not a problem for most films but is almost demanded in a biopic, is a noticeable flaw.
Also, while perhaps not as "gritty" as one would like to see in a modern film, the ambiance of the film feels very "right." The viewer is seldom distracted by the realization that one is seeing CGI. The set decoration and costuming are rich and look accurate. The photography is excellent, although there is some mixing of exposure which is sometimes distracting. There is quite a bit of "floating" camera-work in establishing shots, which adds a little playful interest, almost as if one is watching from a small biplane buzzing through the scene.
The performances are understated, although the dialog does feel a little sparse at times.
Viewers who are hoping to experience another version of the exuberant athleticism of "Flyboys" from the German perspective may be underwhelmed by this film, but I found it most satisfying, especially in its restraint in delivering its anti-war message.
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