I was actually thinking about THX 1138 today, and I happened to come across the trailer for George Lucas’ latest project Red Tails. Props to Lucas for stepping out of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones universe for the first time in about the last decade. Still I’m not really sure what to think about this film though. Although Red Tails has been in the works since 1998, could this film being released in this present day (a time when the film industry shows its phobia of releasing anything that won’t make it big bucks by releasing sequel after sequel) be an indication that Red Tails‘ appearance as the film about the African American pilots of WII that has been so carefully neglected in the American War film spectrum, is not actually what it seems? I mean surely just because a film is a blockbuster doesn’t mean it can’t be a good film, but two real problems exist here: 1) Lucas hasn’t put out a well received film since The Land Before Time (1988) and 2) Lucas has never been a consistent director.
Him and his long time buddy Francis Ford Copolla share a lot in common, especially because their biggest hits were films that they were less than enthusiastic about working on (The Godfather (1972), Star Wars (1977)). Copolla never being considered filmicly consistent either, its interesting though that their biggest films were some of the first in the film industry to spawn sequels and trilogies that would be the only in filmic history to be considered better than their predecessors.
With a budget of 25-35 million, a familiar cast of African American actors (Method Man, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Junior), and production by Lucas himself, its hard to imagine that this film will do poorly. The real question is: will be good?