Nicholas Van Der Bijl in Angel of the Skies (2013) (aka: Battle for the Skies)

Angel Returns

Having volunteered many years earlier South African Flt. Officer Earl Kirk (Nicholas Van Der Bijl) if a respected pilot and leader although not by his new number two Lt. Raymond Hawkins (Andre Frauenstein) who objects to being ordered around by a South African. But Kirk has other things on his mind as he wants to marry his girl Deborah (Lillie Claire). All that and any differences will have to be put to one side as Kirk and Hawkins along with the rest of the crew are sent on a mission to destroy fuel dumps in Bremen. When they end up getting hit over enemy territory Kirk orders everyone to bail out and now they must make it through enemy country back to safety.

Over the years I have watched many war movies and in truth some of my favourite movies are about the bravery of the men who flew during WWII. But that may explain why "Angel of the Skies" did little for me as over years these classic movies have lead to high expectations and this doesn't match up. Now not all movies can be great, I know that, but this modern attempt at a WWII movie frequently comes up short or does things which simply don't seem right.

It is a shame as the basic concept to "Angel of the Skies" is a good one with the mix of flying danger and then danger on the ground along with highlighting the contribution of South Africans during the war. But from an incredibly slow and dull build up to the obvious use of CGI it seems to toss an issue at you every few minutes. I could go on because there is the attempt to deliver the "jolly good show" style dialogue with some British stereotypes which ends up painful as well as some factual errors when it comes to the actual mission and when the men would be flying.

But the biggest problem which "Angel of the Skies" has is that it doesn't make us believe we are back in 1944 and with the crew of a plane stuck behind enemy lines. It just fails to make us forget that we are watching a group of actors for all sense and purpose playing make believe.

What this all boils down to is that from a concept point of view I like "Angel of the Skies" but as a finished movie it didn't do it for me and ended up being annoying in some places due to it trying too hard to deliver stereotypes and ending up false for doing so.