The Red Baron
- Miles Fielder
- 16 September 2009
The daredevil adventures of the famous First World War flying ace ought to make for an entertaining cinematic romp. Manfred von Richthofen, the young, handsome, aristocrat who terrorised the Allies in his scarlet bi-plane, notching up 80 kills before being shot down by Canadian pilot Roy Brown, is a natural subject for a biopic. And this is a handsomely mounted German/UK co-production boasting impressive aerial combat sequences and a decent cast lead by newcomer Matthias Schweighöfer and supported by Joseph Fiennes as the Baron’s nemesis, Lena Headey as his field nurse love interest and Til Schweiger (currently also to be see in Inglourious Basterds) as Richthofen’s buddy.
Nevertheless, the film fails to take off. The uneven pacing never allows it to gain velocity and so at less than two hours it still feels overlong - and yet oddly abridged. Perhaps that reflects writer-director Nikolai Müllerschön’s TV roots. Extras: making of doc, deleted scenes, outtakes.