Flyboys is a fictionalised account of the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of the French Air Service manned by American volunteers before America’s entry into the war.

It is enjoyable if extremely light fare. It is the standard motley-group-of-cocky-newcomers-bond-and-come-good story with the Hollywood mandated love story layered on the top.

The flying sequences are gorgeous.

All the German planes shown in the film are red Fokker Dr.1s except for the really evil and unsporting German pilot who flies a black Fokker Dr.1. In the DVD extras the producers are quite upfront about their sacrificing historical accuracy to make an accessible film.

Bullets are accompanied by a black contrails of smoke to make obvious who is shooting at who, and just how close Jame Franco got to being shot. In a WW2 movie tracer fire fulfills that role, but here the movie makers had to come up with some other conceit. It does not really detract from the flying sequences, until it occurs to you that it just ain’t right, then you cannot help but notice it every time planes exchange fire. (I probably should not have mentioned it then, sorry.)

Overall: 6/10 – Enjoyable eye candy
Story: 5/10 – Inoffensive
Flying sequences: 7/10 – Great, except for bullet contrails…
Historical accuracy: 3/10 – There was a Lafayette Escadrille. Americans flew in it. They had lions for mascots.

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