As World War I rages in Europe and Allied forces in France, Italy, and England find their resolve quickly diminishing due to the overwhelming force of the German juggernaut, a handful of brave American soldiers volunteer to join their French counterparts in learning to fly and fighting for freedom from above as the true story of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille comes to the screen in a breathtaking war adventure from Academy Award-winning director Tony Bill and famed producer Dean Devlin. They have come from all over the United States, ready and willing to put their lives on the line despite their country's initial pledge to not get involved with the all-consuming war that rages throughout Europe. Few could have foreseen the challenges faced by the world's first fighter pilots, however, and upon arriving at their aerodrome in France, the aspiring aviators are assigned to a new squadron under the command of war-ravaged Captain Thenault (Jean Reno) and battle-weary American pilot Reed Cassidy -- the sole survivor of his devastated former air brigade. With little encouragement from their fellow aviators and nothing to drive but their unifying goal of taking to the skies and offering up their lives in the name of freedom, the determined airmen of the Lafayette Escadrille set out to make history by embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. James Franco, Martin Henderson, and David Ellison star in a script penned by Phil Sears, Blake T. Evans, and David S. Ward. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Running Time: 2 hours 19 minutes
I saw a preview for this movie forever ago and I was surprised to realize I had never thought about air combat with biplanes and the fact there was no covering for the pilots. I know that's something I should have put together a long time ago, but there are some things I just take for granted, I suppose. Like combat taking place with people in machines. Anyway, the point is, I was intrigued. But I ended up being kind of glad to watch it on dvd because I didn't expect it to be as tense as it was. I don't know if it was okay with K or not, but I figure he'd probably rather me make comments here and there than squeeze his hand off in the theater.
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was well done and the story was gripping. I think it's at least mostly a true story so that is also cool. It made me realize that I need to brush up on my history though because I only kind of knew what was going on in the world at that time.
The only thing that I have to say that annoyed me is one of the characters totally had highlights and I'm pretty sure there weren't any beauty salons doing highlights during World War I and not for Americans living in France.
Rating: 3 of 4 stars. It's a war movie, but a well done and not boring one. :)