Stills of "Flyboys"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)
Drama/War Director: Tony Bill Cast: James Franco, Jean Reno, David Ellison RunTime: 2 hrs 19 mins Released By: Cathay-Keris Films Rating: PG (Some War Violence Official Website:http://www.mgm.com/flyboys/
The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young
Americans who volunteered for the French military before the
U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter
War flicks usually appeal to a wide audience. Valuable history
lessons aside, everyone else has something to enjoy in a war
movie. While the boys can marvel at the adrenaline-filled
sequences, the girls can ogle at the manly soldiers in uniform
fighting for their country’s honor.
have seen many agreeable war movies. We remember Steven Spielberg’s
Saving Private Ryan (1998) being the all-important NC-16 movie
to reach our shores. We do not know anyone who does not like
Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down (2001).
when another film chronicling the stories of war comes along,
we are more or less sure that nothing can go too wrong. Besides,
unlike most other war movies, this one features WWI, and focuses
on fighter pilots who fight their battles in the skies.
movie tells the voyages of the real-life Lafayette Escadrille,
a group of American young men who volunteered to join the
French military during the WWI period. With different aspirations
and expectations, they eventually became recognized as some
of the best fighter pilots to conquer the skies.
today’s advancements in technology, the computer wizards
have done a good job re-creating how fighting in the skies
could have been in the 1910s. The few battle scenes display
impressive pacing and remarkable excitement, without giving
viewers a moment to breathe until the sequence is over.
jets seen in the movie are also nice to look at, because they
are not your usual high-tech fighter aircrafts. What we have
are vintage biplanes in their full rugged glory.
a pity it is then, that the 140-minute movie is ultimately
bogged down by several sluggish subplots of mushy love stories,
racism and battling personal demons. These segments only slowed
down the already lengthy movie, if you ask us.
do not blame the director, because Tony Bill’s previous
works mostly come from television series episodes like Monk
and Felicity. Given that this is Bill’s official big
screen directorial debut, it is a decent effort by our standards.
Also, expect some down-to-earth and earnest performances from
the cast here. Familiar faces include James Franco (Spider-man,
Tristan + Isolde) and Jean Reno (The Pink Panther, The Da
Vinci Code). The less well-known actors fill up the rest of
the well-defined roles whose characteristics are written to
is the spoilt brat who grows up spending time with the force.
There is the victim of racism who works hard to earn his honor.
There is the captain who has to fight a dark past. Every character
you have seen in some other movie, you’d see it here.
that we are complaining about this though, because it is still
nice once in a while to leave the cynics in us at the door
and enjoy movies the way they were meant to be. It is evident
that the filmmakers of this film do not try to be too smart
for their own good, unlike the many pseudo-innovative movies
out there now.
least, the money you’d have to fork out to watch this
good enjoyable movie would be justified. Just like the many
other war flicks you will never get bored of watching.
(Instead of the usual trenches, tanks and foot soldiers, this
movie gives us something refreshing featuring exciting battles
that are fought in the skies)