Flyboys (DVD)

A plane can still be flying on all engines for it to be a long and bumpy flight right? Because “Flyboys”, though pleasurable enough and without major turbulence, is far from a first class experience.


James Franco, Jean Reno, Martin Henderson, Jennifer Decker, Tyler Labine, David Ellison, Tchéky Karyo, Lex Shrapnel, Mac McDonald

A plane can still be flying on all engines for it to be a long and bumpy flight right? Because “Flyboys”, though pleasurable enough and without major turbulence, is far from a first class experience.

The film is based on the audacious and laudable story of the men of the Lafayette Escadrille, the first American fighter-pilot squadron to see action in World War I, when a few plucky young men volunteered to fight for democracy.

Blaine Rawlings (James Franco) is searching for his purpose following the bank’s foreclosure of his family ranch, Briggs Lowry (Tyler Labine) is shamed into joining by his disciplinarian father, while African-American expatriate boxer Eugene Skinner (Abdul Salis) vows to repay his debt to his adopted, racially-tolerant country. Under the command of French Captain Thenault (Jean Reno) and the leadership of American veteran Reed Cassidy (Martin Henderson), the new recruits will soon wear the badges of heroes, and the scars of a god-awful war. Oh, and the filmmakers hope you’ll be sweating tears by the end of the films lengthy [near 2 and a half hours!] jaunt.

Though the special and visual effects are quite marvellous, and all the actors are trying their best (though Jean Reno was a little too ‘Yoplait’ copper for my liking) to do justice to the real life men behind the stories, this thing is just too darn sweet to swallow seriously – think of how sweet the glaze is that they smother the tops of muffins with, and you get the picture.

Director Tony Bill should’ve let the story play out naturally, rather than feel the need to ‘button push’ – ya know?; ‘cry here’, ‘laugh here’, ‘sweat here’, ‘applaud in the aisles here’ – his way through the whole thing. The flying sequences are some of the best aerial skirmishes to grace a screen in years, but anytime the planes land, the film dips – mostly because the padding is clearly just that. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised to hear that producer Dean Devlin (“Independence Day”, “Stargate”, “Godzilla”) took charge in the films faster moments, and Bill (“Untamed Heart”) was responsible for the [melo]dramatic moments. Someone’s definitely come up short on their end of the bargain.

Wait for DVD so you can fast forward through all the slow bits and watch the amazing aerial stunts – they are really are quite a sight to behold.

(Extras Unpreviewed)

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris