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Flyboys (PG-13)





Release Date: September 22nd, 2006 by MGM.
The Cast: James Franco, Martin Henderson, Jean Reno, David Ellison, Tyler Labine, Philip Winchester, Abdul Salis, Lex Schrapnel, Michael Jibson, Jennifer Decker.
Directed by Tony Bill.

BASIC PREMISE: A group young American men volunteer as Allied fighter pilots for in World War I. Based on a true story.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Flyboys could have been a much more powerful war film if it had a tighter script and more convincing lead actor. James Franco gives a mediocre performance as Blaine Rawlings, an American who enlists as an Allied pilot for the Lafayette Escadrille team in World War I. The only actor who manages to be convincing is the beautiful Jennifer Decker as Blaineís love interest. Eventually, Blaine risks his life to protect her. Other American pilots include Briggs (Labine), William (Winchester), Eugene (Salis) and, the most interesting and shady soldier, Eddie (Ellison). Captain Thenault (Reno) trains these young men while Reed Cassidy (Henderson) leads the team. The plot follows a typical formula for war films with some action scenes, brief comic relief, male bonding, and a romance. Screenwriters Blake T. Evans, Phil Sears, and David S. Ward include mostly bland characters that never come to life. Itís difficult to understand what she sees in him, though. Director Tony Bill expertly films the action scenes which add some thrills and excitement, but itís difficult to be fully engaged during the ground scenes when you donít really care about any of the characters. At a running time of 2 hours and 14 minutes, Flyboys occasionally drags and overstays its welcome.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Contrived and bland.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4

IN A NUTSHELL: Exciting action scenes, but with mostly bland characters, a contrived, formulaic plot which occasionally drags and a mediocre performance by James Franco.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD


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