One thought: a mediocre movie ruined by romance. I felt like I was watching a precursor to Pearl Harbor, but without the horrible acting of Ben Afflect. The Boston Globe agrees, although I do not quite agree with Mr. Burr's critique of the flying scenes.
In any event, a flyboy movie exists for its flying sequences, and once it gets aloft, ``Flyboys" is reasonably ripping. Combining actual aerial footage and computer-generated special effects, the scenes have the dramatic crackle that's lacking on the ground, and the inclusion of deadly webs of CGI tracer-fire adds a new dimension to the swoops and rollovers and Immelmanns . I'll let the aviation-history wonks parse the realism of the bi planes; on action terms, the movie succeeds.The majority of the flying sequences seem pretty fake to me. But I may just be jaded, and those who fly similar type aircraft can put me in my place. I am also not a NY Times fan, but an allusion to Top Gun is amusing.
Flyboys ascends close enough to this danger zone to singe its wings, yearning for a time when wars were fought by gentlemen, combat was glamorous and the French were amused by monolingual Americans.Too bad there were no times like those....
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That not a single soul, not even a Frenchman, smokes in this film tells you pic's portrait of the war has been sanitized for modern consumption. Even the 1958 picture about the same unit, William Wellman's "Lafayette Escadrille," had the Yank leading man, played by Tab Hunter, fall for a French hooker; here, the love interest is a virtuous young thing who looks after her dead brother's orphaned kids.I wonder why it is that Hollywood demands such realism in certain aspects of our society but not about history. I can hypothesize.
...underline the bitter fatalism of these warriors who, while the most glamorous figures in uniform, had a life expectancy once they started flying of three to six weeks. They were beautiful stoics, alcoholic knights of the air, the poster boys for the Lost Generation; veteran pilots wouldn't even speak to new arrivals at first, knowing many of them would be dead in short order.