Great Review for ‘The Fly Boys’

With a creative story that lends itself to plenty of mischief and awesomely unfathomable action, The Flyboys breaks away from all the rules governing kids’ films and becomes a boldly original adventure that proves the genre doesn’t have to play it safe. Exceptional performances from the two young leads and intriguing characters by Sizemore and Baldwin, coupled with delirious amounts of adventurous fun, culminates in a wholly satisfying high-flying experience.

When new kid in town Kyle (Reiley McClendon) saves Jason (Jesse James) from a group of school bullies, an unlikely friendship forms. The two spend their time at an airplane hangar maintained by Jason’s Uncle Ed (Dallen Gettling) and end up on the ride of their lives (and a ride for their lives) when they unintentionally ruin the scheming of dangerous mob misfit Silvio (Stephen Baldwin).

What begins as a very typical new-kid-trying-to-adjust-in-school premise drastically changes when we discover that said new kid Kyle is a total badass. Standing up for bullied loner Jason, both in school and after, Kyle rescues his new friend from multiple classmate antagonists and then goes on to beat up the older brothers of the attackers. A dizzying car chase and daring extreme stunts follow, and it’s abundantly clear that The Flyboys is anything but your typical kids’ film. And did I mention that Kyle is a total badass? The most enjoyable aspects of the film are derived from multiple resolutions between characters and events that end exactly the way we hope they will, which is something we’d rarely expect to actually see. A plethora of movies utilize the same formula of witnessing the protagonist being beaten in the beginning, only to come back at the conclusion for the ultimate victory. Not so with The Flyboys. Here, we get to see the protagonists win and keep on winning, and the unpredictability is refreshingly gratifying.

The Flyboys is a rare film that unabashedly delivers action, most often just for action’s sake, and once you invest in the unbelievably wild adventure you can fully enjoy the ride without questioning the absence of realism. Harrowing car chases, aerial stunts, crash landings, and more abound in The Flyboys, and as each scene of action attempts to outdo the previous one, we realize caution has been thrown to the wind – and then caught, beaten, and thrown out again. But Flyboys embraces the fun and in turn it’s easy to appreciate the nonstop, over-the-top mayhem, especially when generous bouts of unexpectedly dark comedy break up the sinister action.

Almost like a James Bond movie for kids, The Flyboys devotes itself to action first, realism and morals second. However, it’s refreshing to see such commitment to adventure in a kids’ film, and paired with a uniquely winding story of friendship and courage, DeVillier’s rousting thrill ride never falters. In a crowning twist of unexpectedness, The Flyboys dares to show us in its brazen characters what we didn’t think we’d ever get to – which is supremely satisfying.

– Joel Massie



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