It’s hard not to talk about the World War II action drama Red Tails without bringing up George Lucas. Making a fighter pilot film had always been a dream of the man whose greatest strength was filming dog fights in the skies. Lucas, who allegedly oversaw reshoots and worked a bit on the script, receives only a producer credit here, but he probably should’ve had a lot more input on this tale of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. It’s a film that has its heart in the right place and nothing but the best of intentions, but also one the cries out for some sort of real guidance to hold this debacle together.
Director Steven Soderbergh takes on a deadly viral outbreak in his latest film, Contagion, with the same episodic story structure that he employed when he took on the war on drugs in Traffic. What this means is that Contagion is a very well made and often fascinating film that feels longer than it really is and it forgets about most of its characters at fairly inopportune times. The two films could really play side by side as a double bill of Soderbergh procedurals. They have almost the exact same strengths and the exact same faults.