"Flyboys" _ The title sounds cute and maybe even a little flippant, but this is as earnest a war picture as you could possibly find. Inspired by the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered to fly for the French military before the United States entered the First World War, the movie combines traditional themes and events with high-tech imagery. James Franco stars as a rebellious Texan who signs up after losing his family’s ranch. Jean Reno is perfectly cast as the squadron’s no-nonsense captain, with Jennifer Decker making a lovely debut as the young Frenchwoman with whom Franco’s character begins a chaste romance. You’ll find little here that’s new or different _ if "Flyboys" had come out 50 years ago, it might have starred Henry Fonda or Montgomery Clift _ but there’s a nice, comfortable camaraderie among the men, the dogfights are thunderous and the rescues are thrilling.
(Reviewed by Christy Lemire, AP)