Review D+

`Flyboys' flaps its biplane wings but fails to soar

September 22, 2006|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

Forget any hope of raffish adventure if you think of seeing Flyboys.

The red-blooded young Americans of this movie become members of France's Lafayette Escadrille to fight the Germans in the air before the U.S. enters World War I. One of them keeps blurting out that they're "knights of the air." But in this film there's almost nothing romantic about them - they're mostly monuments to wholesomeness. In this passionless and attenuated spectacle, the Yanks are so sheltered that the sight of an open-air pissoir in a train station offends them, and a care-giving prostitute tending to a wounded comrade is disparaged as "a chippie, not a nurse." (Parents needn't worry about that PG-13 rating: she turns out not to be a chippie after all.)

Flyboys (MGM) Starring James Franco, Martin Henderson, Jean Reno. Directed by Tony Bill. Rated PG-13. Time 139 minutes.

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