For the past couple of weeks, the interwebs have been abuzz with talk about the movie, “Red Tails.” It’s a fictionalized story about the all-black regiment of fighter pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen, set in Italy in World War II. We get to meet a bunch of (fine ass) black men from different walks of life who were all a part of the “Tuskegee Experience” that wanted to test whether or not black men would be smart enough to be fighter pilots.
While I would just love to give you a history lesson, I would much rather you click this link and educate your damn selves. Personally, I interviewed a Tuskegee Airman so, I’m good. It’s a wonderful story in which all people need to be aware. I sincerely hope this movie will make people want to know more about it. Now, as for the movie and all these damn critics …
Dear Universe, you will never be able to satisfy an entire group of people. All men aren’t fans of the same thing nor are all men neither are all white people and definitely not all black people. “Red Tails” is no different. This movie has gotten a lot of attention because it is an all black cast and Mr. Star Wars, George Lucas, put up $100 million of his own money because he couldn’t get Hollywood to invest. That being said, black folks everywhere set out to prove Hollywood wrong and support this historic biopic. Problem is it wasn’t a biopic. Negroes flocked to the movie in droves expecting to see an Oscar-worthy film starring black men who were men of honor who were being snubbed by a system that sought to keep them down. They got an action movie.
I’m not sure if you are familiar with action movies but they aren’t famous for the dialogue, the sentiment or their maintenance of the integrity of whatever period they are highlighting. Action movies are known for action. Fights and explosions and shit like that. But because this one was financed by George Lucas and involved Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, black folks expected something major. *smh* Look, if you went to see Red Tails and went to learn the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and you were disappointed that you got an action movie, that’s your fault.
Nobody ever billed this movie to be anything more than an action film. But because it stars an abundance of black men we turned it into a demonstration against the racial injustice in the Hollywood establishment. We have to get over ourselves. We need to realize that more black quality films aren’t being made because we aren’t demanding them. Some of us continue to be pissed about movies like Red Tails yet they line up in droves for the latest in Tyler Perry’s never-ending story of the downtrodden black woman with the dark-skinned villains.
I have never in all my movie-watching days seen reviews more mixed for a movie than this one. Ever. “This was an awesome black film!” “That movie sucked! Don’t waste your money!” “I wish they would have done more.” “Why weren’t there any black women in the movie?” “He was with a white woman!” Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah! *smh* Some of y’all need to see this movie for what it was – entertainment. I looked at this movie the same as I would “Captain America,” “Superman,” or any other hero movie. The only difference here is there were actual Tuskegee Airmen.
Personally, I think “Red Tails” made strides in how black men are perceived in hero movies. Up until now we only had Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sam Jackson. Now, we’ve got an assload of black heroes for them to choose from. Let’s just support this movie for being what it is, the first all-black action flick since the blacksploitation period and keep it moving.
Let’s stop taking shit to higher and higher levels of foolishness and irrelevance by getting in our feelings. I need for y’all to come out of there and join the rest of us in the real world. This movie was made to see black men catapulted to the role of hero not to give black films relevance. That’s our job. You want to see more quality black films? Let’s support the ones we do have coming out and demand better of our own filmmakers. If nothing else, go see it for yourself and stop taking everyone else’s word for it.