When George Lucas was first trying to explain the Tie-fighter and X-wing dog fights in Star Wars (1977) he used World War II dogfight recordings to convey the tension and action the way he imagined it. These visuals lead to the now common place air-to-air and space to space combat scenes we see today in television series like Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica. At the time it was unconventional and difficult to perform and now it happens on a daily basis.
Flyboys makes use of the (then) latest CGI technology for the air combat shown in the film as the use of replica planes didn’t sync well. It was pulled off fantastically, I was expecting either greatly exaggerated feats or unrealistic physics and performances of the aircraft rather than accurate portrayals.
Not being a pilot myself I’ve always liked imagining taking the pilot seat and flying, I’m seen many air (and some space) combat films that have really got me swaying in my seat with the momentum, Flyboys is the first that’s been an artificial experience.
Sure there have been computer games that try to mimic the experience but when I was fanatically playing them the detail was just too poor to relish the simulation. Nowadays computer rigs and consoles provide entire skies that pull you into the scene.
Perhaps oneday I’ll have the time and inclination to do more than an afternoon gliding around the British countryside but until then films such Flyboys will kept my dreams alive.
A superb film, although some events are predictable you won’t be sure when they’ll happen, luckily there are some outright surprises too!
P.S. If you liked watching this an all-time classic is Memphis Belle, which is also based on a true story.