Courage Has No Color: A Brief Review of Red Tails

Grade: B-

First Thoughts:

That was nice…


Alright Lucas… so, what happened before all that?

“Courage Has No Color”

George Lucas has produced the first of what appears to be a series of epic films that follow the Tuskegee Airmen. This may very well be the first epic film featuring a nearly all Black (male) cast.

I think it was interesting that Lucas decided to make this film, now: this moment in American history, first Black president, and the current state of racial politics and popular culture.  That there is a dearth of African American men and women from major motion films except as maids or tokens… or Tyler Perry characters… I think the catchphrase of the film, “Courage has no color” is appropriate.  I was appreciative that the depiction of Black men wasn’t this kind of idealized version of Black masculinity.  The major characters were painted as dynamic, flawed, regular.  There was hubris, there was addiction, but there was not cowardice.

Thank you George Lucas.

Why the B(-)?

I thought that the film was decent.  It moved along, had a nice rhythm to it. I enjoyed the action sequences.   The acting was mostly good though I might have cast someone else other than Ne-Yo.  I wanted to be more compelled by the relationships that he set up between the characters, but I left the theater with a lot questions about how the characters got to know each other, that I hope might get answered in the next installment.

Good enough to see in the theater.  Not the best movie I’ve ever seen, though.  Reminded me of Spike Lee‘s Miracle at St. Anna.

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