Flyboys
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

James Franco, Jean Reno. Written by Blake T. Evans, David S. Ward, Phil Sears. Directed by Tony Bill.FILM SYNOPSIS: Flyboys is the World War I aviation film inspired by the courageous tale of the American young men who would become known as the legendary Lafayette Escadrille. They were ordinary boys who went to France and volunteered for the first World War before America got involved.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It most likely wont be considered a classic because it lacks an emotional punch, the acting is only so-so and the fighting sequences are more video arcade game than true depiction of men at war. Theres a love story and we see several characters die who we have gotten to know, but everything seems superficial, by the numbers. James Franco, unable to shake his James Dean wannabe persona, is a fine actor, but far too limited in his emotional range. If he takes acting seriously, he may become a true thespian, but will Hollywood still be calling by that time? And though the films action sequences are mesmerizing, they often look too computerized and game-like. Fourteen-year-old boys will think the flying debris and the bullet-riddled bodies are awesome, or cool, or whatever the colloquialism of the day is, but fourteen-year-old boys shouldnt be thinking WW1 is a game by Nintendo.

My last complaint is the language. On the one hand, the filmmakers deserve credit for creating dialogue sans the now customary amount of obscenity. To punctuate frustration, theres a damn here and a hell there, but the two main obscenities featured in every genre from romantic comedy to, well, war films, are thankfully missing, proving people can complete a simple declarative sentence without the aid of the S- or F-words. The only offense is the one misuse of Gods name. Wouldnt you know it. While only one use of Gods name followed by a curse may seem like Hollywood on its best behavior, I question why it had to be there in the first place. It was obvious that the writer/director wanted to tell the story without incorporating the F-word. So why include the profane use of Gods name?

Okay, those are my objections. There are also positive elements to this film. It is about honor, comradeship and love. Whats more, one of the pilots is a devout Christian; hes not a buffoon, nor is he ridiculed. And on top of that, Philip Winchester, who plays Jenson, another flyboy, is a Christian in real life. I was able to speak with him recently via a telephone interview and found him to be sound in his gospel belief and level headed. Philip has several upcoming projects soon to be released. I warned him that his life will change. He is well aware that he will be bombarded by the usual temptations and superficial glitz normally thrust upon new movie stars. He has surrounded himself with a core group of men in the entertainment community who share his spiritual beliefs. From my brief talk with the 25-year-old who studied acting in London, I found him not only sincere, but desiring to witness his faith.

Flyboys is entertaining with several positive messages and, with the exception of the one profanity, a clean film.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: MGM

Summary
Crude Language: One crude sexual comment.
Obscene Language: 3 minor expletives; hells
Profanity: One GD
Violence: There are several wartime battles; we see planes blown apart and men shot up. One man loses his hand, but the scene is not graphic. One man, caught in a fire that will kill him, shoots himself we hear the gunshot but dont see the action. Blood: Some blood as bodies are blown apart.
Sexual Intercourse: Shot down, two men are rescued and recover in a bordello. One man is seen with arms around two prostitutes, suggesting he is going to have sex with them, but we do not see the activity. The lead is relieved to discover that his angel of mercy is not a prostitute.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Only one suggestive comment.
Drug Abuse: There is a great deal of drinking, showing how these men dealt with the horrors they faced each day.
Other: One anti-war comment.
Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

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