Keep flying, 'Flyboys'
By Ryan Pence
September 28, 2006 | How many good flyboy movies do
we have to watch?
Not many, especially if we're referring to the nitty-gritty,
prop-driven airplanes of the 1910s.
Flyboys captures all the fun of flying, all
the intensity of aerial combat and all the inherent
danger that comes with it. Did I mention the movie is
based on a true story?
Story. The year is 1916. The place
is France. The mission of the Lafayette Escadrille in
is to train the first fighter pilots. The reason: World
War I, the Germans have invaded France. Who are you
going to call? The Americans of course. The snag: America
doesn't want to enter the war. What happens? Young American
men enlist to fly airplanes in the war for France. End
result, some airplanes get shot down, people die, a
blimp gets destroyed, it's war. Oh, and did I mention
the love story mixed and intertwined into this move,
for the female audience member, or the revenge story
told to try to give depth to one of the pilots.
Characters. Easily the strongest
point to the film. The movie introduces each character
in turn, showing why he volunteered to be one of the
first fighter pilots. The reasons are diverse. The show
comes complete with its cast of stereotypes, including:
The hot shot and good-looking guy, Blaine Rawlings;
Reed Cassidy, the mysterious flying Ace who is out for
revenge on the German pilots who killed his friends;
Eugene Skinner, a black man who is tired of his boxing
days and wants to make something of his life; Briggs
Lowry, who is there to gain his father's approval; Lucienne,
the female love interest; and rounding out the cast,
Captain Thenault, the person in charge of Lafayette
Escadrille, and who is in charge of the flight school
and combat training. Apart from all these stereotypes
the characters work well together, making an all-together
enjoyable ensemble cast.
Bottom Line. As a whole Flyboys
is a decent movie. The special effects weren't overwhelming,
the cinematography was engaging, and the editing was
smooth. The problems with the movie was the script,
primarily with a couple of characters who weren't completely
fleshed out, another revision I'm sure would have fixed
that problem. Assuming of course they addressed that
issue. The rest of the story was all right, complete
with a mediocre love interest, and a revenge story.
Rating. PG-13 for violence
Ryan's Picks. If you don't feel like
dishing out the money to see this flick check out these
other movies by producer Dean Devlin.
StarGate. Kurt Russell stars in this sci-fi
epic that explains that the great pyramids where constructed
by a race of humans who were brought to earth by an
interstellar doorway, or "Stargate." The movie is quite
smart and moves at a lighting pace. But if you're looking
for amazing acting, look elsewhere. This movie is just
a good story jam-packed with action and special effects
to dazzle the eye.
Independence Day. Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum
and Bill Pullman star in this over-the-top, action-packed,
special-effects show about an alien invasion. Bill Pullman
plays the president of the United States. Will Smith
plays fighter pilot Captain Steven Hiller. Jeff Goldblum
portrays David Levinson, who discovers the diminishing
code sequence being broadcast among the alien aircraft.
When put together this movie adds up to a whole lot
The Patriot. Mel Gibson's performance in
this movie makes it worth seeing. He plays farmer Benjamin
Martin, who after his son is murdered takes command
of a colonial militia. This Revolutionary War epic is
beautiful to watch and is quite moving at times.