Flyboys (DVD, 2009, 2-Disc Set, Collector's Edition) Reviews

Flyboys (DVD, 2009, 2-Disc Set, Collector's Edition)

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Daedalus Books

Flyboys (2006) -- A horrible representation of some extremely brave American Pilots

Feb 14, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:original story at the base

Cons:characters stereotyped, very weak sub-plots, horrible use of facts, gross misrepresentation of fighting, unneeded romance

The Bottom Line: The intent was to show how American Pilots helped the French in WWI, but it ended up being an embarrassment of a film that I don't recommend.

Flyboys is the story of the Lafayette Escadrille, a group of young Americans that volunteered to fight for the French in World War I. At the time, the United States had not entered the war, and the French could use any man-power that could be found. These American boys became the some of the first fighter pilots, and set out to prove themselves as not only capable soldiers, but as men.

The movie itself loosely follows the story of this squadron, and when I say loosely, I mean that basically a lot of fact is thrown out the window to create a story that would quick and exciting to Hollywood standards. What you have here is a very thin story about what the men had to go through, ramped up with many mid-air dogfights that give an unrealistic interpretation of what planes of the time could really do. If it wasn't bad enough that impossible maneuvers were thrust into the film to make it seem more interesting, the film was never given the dramatic overtones that it needed.

For those movie-goers that saw the film Pearl Harbor recently, you are going to dislike this one even more. In the midst of training to become a fighter pilot, and in between aerial battles, one of the pilots strikes up a relationship with a French woman in the countryside. Though she doesn't speak English, we are led to believe that the American pilot has fallen for her hard. Unfortunately there is neither a semblance of good acting, nor any real emotion to convey what is taking place, other than the main characters blatantly over-acted lines.

James Franco stars as Blaine Rawlings, who quickly becomes the ace of this squadron, despite really only getting lucky up in the air. It would seem that the men around him grow to like him for his leadership, but to the extent of this film, not was ever really exuded in my humble opinion. While Franco was better as Harry Osborne in the Spiderman movies, he is far too wooden in this character, and helps to bring the film down to its knees. His bad acting and failure to emit emotion in the most important scenes takes the audience right out of a film that is already hanging by a thread.

The recognizable cast ends with Franco, and the acting is even worse from some of the supporting characters. Many stereotypes are used to infuse "drama" into the story, but it just comes off as fake and overdone, ending in numerous cliches. To make matters worse, there are so many factual errors with how the planes are flown, what planes are used, how guns weren't on top of blimps, and how the pilots flew their missions that even the biggest war enthusiast would be frustrated with this movie. Having been excited to see this film originally, I ended up severely disappointed in this sham of a motion picture.

Recommend this product? No

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FLYBOYS is a good old-fashioned historical drama concerning the Lafayette Escadrille, a French regiment of American volunteer airmen serving the allie...
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