“Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high, into the sun…”
The above lyrics are from the official song of the United States Air Force which is informally called The Wild Blue Yonder. With the Independence Day holiday having just passed by, and is now just a memory for another year, I thought I’d take the opportunity to have a look at some cinematic airmen.
No, we won’t be reviewing Will Smith in Independence Day, because we’ve all seen that film too often and the enemies were aliens. What I will be looking at are some war films, and other films that include conflict, that is, conflicts between nations but on a much smaller stage. In other words, films about airmen rather than air forces on a global scale.
We’ll start with a film from 1986 called Top Gun and yes, we’ve all seen that one too many times too. Then we’ll have Flyboys, the 2006 drama about airmen in World War I. Our last film will be Red Tails, the 2012 World War II fighter pilot epic.
Now I’m not saying in any way that these films should own a slot in any kind of larger Best of List. In fact, in some circles, many think Top Gun is one of the worst films about pilots ever made. I’ve chosen these films based strictly on availability rather than film-making brilliance. Let’s have a look.