Monday, June 04, 2007

Flyboys: Better than Top Gun!

Hang on! This was supposed to be crap! The critics slated this on it's US release last September and now it's arrived in Western Europe. It's easy to see why it flopped, it could only be truly enjoyed by people who grew up reading old British war comic-books and unfortunately that's almost no-one in the US.
Allow me to elaborate; the characters here are a bunch of young guys who are either trying to prove something or escape their life in the US and all without exception are the richest example of War-Movie/War-comic characters I've ever seen assembled in one picture and it so fuckin' works.

James Franco, the best performer of the awful Spider-Man 3 is the main player here as a young rancher who escapes the US to become a flying ace with the Lafayette Escadrille a French squadron made up of US pilots in WWI. Yes, the French are "good guys" in this movie and are not portrayed as complete assholes - after all this is only based on a true story. The excellent Jean Reno (his excellence is proved by virtue of the fact he's not actually French) plays Captain Thenault the commander of the French airbase where our heroes' squadron is stationed.

In the air, the action is thick and fast if somewhat unrealistic and you must suspend your disbelief and leave common sense as well as any aviation knowledge you have at the door on the way in to appreciate that the producers of this film wanted to audience to enjoy themselves at an action movie as opposed to be watching a carefully crafted docu-drama. While there is a romance, it doesn't overwhelm the plot as it did in Top Gun and unlike that movie, no homosexual undertones can be extrapolated from the flyboy's language years later by Quentin Tarentino.

Sadly I predict that it will crash and burn amongst the Spider-Men, Pirates, Giant Robots and Die-Hards of this season on this side of the Atlantic, a pity. Nevertheless there is always DVD and I urge you to pick it up then.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****


Anonymous said...

Thank Heavens for the Lt.Col's great familiarity with homosexual undertones however would we know what was safe to watch? ;)

Declan said...

What are the special effects like. The bits I've seen look very computer generated, almost like MS Combat flight Sim on steroids.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

@ Declan: It's not bad considering that this film marked the first in history to motion-capture planes. The effects are damn good for only $60m considering that's the catering bill on some hollywood flicks nowadays.
They weren't so bad as to be distracting like I've been with bigger budget productions - Die Another Day for example.