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Though fairly standard for a historic biopic, THE RED BARON is nonetheless entertaining with some interesting insight into the famed flyer as well as some exciting aerial battles. 

Baron Manfred Von Ricthofen (Matthias Scheighöfer) is an ace pilot for the Germans during WWI, respected and feared by the allies, he is a force to be reckoned with in the air and on the ground. 

Living by a code of conduct, he expects the most from the men in his squadron. They are not to needlessly put themselves in harms way. As far as he’s concerned it’s only about shooting down the enemy planes, not killing the pilots. To him it’s a game of sorts. 

His eyes are soon opened when he meets and falls in love with Käte (GAME OF THRONES' Lena Headey), a French nurse who shows him the true horrors of war and the injury and death that he and his comrades cause. 

Continuing to rise in rank, Von Ricthofen grows more and more disillusioned with the missions that he and his men would risk their lives on. Painting his plane blood red to instill fear, he soon becomes known as “The Red Baron” making him a popular target for the enemy. Ultimately he’d meet with destiny on an April 21st 1918 when he was fatally shot down over Vaux-sur-Somme, France. 

Playing more like a Hallmark Channel movie, THE RED BARON has its charm but it suffers from an ambitiously epic storyline that the budget can’t bear. The visual FX are decent but more akin to TV quality than film quality. 

The performances are adequate even when it veers off course into overly sentimental melodrama. Though with that said, I enjoyed the film and my son (who helped me build a Red Baron model kit) was enthralled by it.

JULY 22, 2014