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  • Flyboys
    • Flyboys
    • Runtime:127 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-22 19:22:49
    • Director: Tony Bill
    • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History, Romance, War
    • Studio:


Flyboys is a film lacking several things in plot, but it is compromised
with authenticity and drama. The problem with Flyboys is that the
director seems to have tried too hard in appealing to both men and
women, thus making the movie rather cliché. In addition to that, the
majority of the characters are under developed. Flyboys is inspired by
the true story of the illustrious Lafayette Escadrille, a group of
American volunteer aviators. The Lafayette Escadrille consisted of 38
brave American volunteers who combined forces with France in 1917,
before the United States entered World War I. Despite the knowledge of
knowing that the Germans had better planes, weapons, and pilots, as
well as the life expectancy for a fighter pilot being only three to six
weeks, they trained for two months under the command of French Captain
Thenault, played by Jean Reno and the guidance of veteran Reed Cassidy,
played by Martin Henderson. Director, Tony Bill does a good job at
establishing authenticity of the film. He accomplishes this by
incorporating intense fighting scenes. The audience feels like they are
riding right besides these pilots as they maneuver, this is because
there are a lot of close-ups of the pilots. There was a great deal of
eye contact between the pilots during the fighting, which made it seem
very personal. I took great appreciation in the special effects. The
explosions look very realistic and kept me wanting more. The technique
used to fly these planes is stunning, as well. They fly these planes
very close together as they seem to be performing plane acrobats.
During the battle scenes, you see clips of the planes flying upside
down. The fight scenes could have been improved, however, if there were
more camera shots from afar, so the movements of the planes can be
better appreciated. Additionally, the viewer doesn't experience the
chaos of the battles suitably because of this. No sense of speed is
acquired, thus making the fights seem rather choreographed at times.
The aerial scenes and the fighting scenes remain relatively believable,
nevertheless. Bill was trying too hard to appeal to both men and women.
Half of the movie is about war and screen time is spent on the fighting
scenes and training camp. The other half is spent focusing on Blaine
Rawlings infatuation with French civilian, Lucienne. The love story
wasn't a bad touch, but too much time was focused on it. Let's be real,
people mainly go to see these war movies to be awed by the combat
scenes; that's what will really grab the audience's attention. The
screen time fixated on her could have been better spent on adding more
fighting scenes or better yet, developing the pilot's characters more.
None of the supporting actors stand out from the bunch. Martin
Henderson was the only character who played a part that wasn't
one-dimensional. His character was the only round and unpredictable one
in the film, and he wasn't even the leading actor. James Franco,
playing Blaine Rawlings from Texas is the main character. His southern
accent goes in and out, but it isn't too distracting when it's in
separate scenes, but when he is saying goodbye to Lucienne in scene 27,
his accent changes just within the scene itself and it is quite
evident. When one the pilots die, it's hard to remember who that was,
let alone feel a lot of compassion. There is a scene after the first
time the pilots went up when Blaine Rawlings tears up because three of
their men died; the audience should feel the same pain, but this scene
isn't heart wrenching, like the real event was. It's nearly impossible
to feel that compassion when we haven't built a strong relationship to
the characters. Overall, the movie gives the audience a glimpse at what
the Lafayette Escadrille endured, but does not do it outstandingly. I
would give the film a B. The movie has a lot of potential and I would
recommend it for the war movie junkie. The director had good intentions
with the cast, but their development wasn't up to par. The movie was
believable and definitely entertaining, but with the modification of a
few minor details; Flyboys would soar to a new level.

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