Flyboys is based on the true story of twenty young American boys who volunteer to fight for France before the United State entered WWI. They are known in history as the Lafayette Escadrille, the very first of the American fighter pilots.
Our story centres on Blaine Rawlings, a naïve twenty year old, American farmer who travelled to France to help protect Europe for his own personal reasons. While in France he befriends Reed Cassidy, the oldest of American veterans, only twenty eight years old. Cassidy also joined the war for own personal reasons, but with numerous missions under his belt and the loss of many friends, his reason to fight has changed.
As we see Rawlings and his platoon members arrive, we get the sense that these boys are far from home. Most of them have never been out of the United States, let alone been to Paris. None of them speak the language, and most challenging of all none of them have been in a device that was only invented ten prior to the war. The Airplane. It is at this point in time, France has been in battle for three years and have lost millions of men in battle.
Blaine and his squadron are trained under the command by the French Captain Thenault. He and the other French pilots put the boys under vigorous training to prepare them for aerial combat. As our boys train to fly the flimsy canvas and balsa wood machinery, they quickly realize the extent of their situation. They are fighting against a superior military. Their life expectancy is anywhere from two to eight weeks. They are not offered parachutes, for the military places more value on the airplanes than their pilots’ life. If anything were to technically go wrong during a mission, their only relief would be that of the single bullet held in an issued revolver.
But it is when Rawlings begins to fall in love with a local French woman name Lucienne, that our story complicates. Through her, Rawlings learns first hand the costs of war as it has affected her and her family. When Lucienne finds herself behind enemy lines, Rawlings risks everything to save her and her family.
After his daring rescue of Lucienne, Rawlings must say goodbye to her as he is called back to duty. In the air again, Rawlings takes part in a breathtaking battle, but the cost this time is his best friend and mentor, Cassidy.
Taking on Cassidy’s roll as leader, Rawlings leads the Escadrille to battle once more. This time, Cassidy’s personal agenda becomes Rawlings. In the name of friendship, love and honour, Rawlings takes part in the most incredible air battle of the war.
Starring: James Franco, Jean Reno
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