Wings of Courage (1995) Craig Sheffer, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth McGovern, Val Kilmer, Ken Pogue, Ron Sauvé Movie Review

Wings of Courage (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Wings of Courage (1995)

Struggles in the Mountain

In 1920s South America, three French pilots led by aviation pioneer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Tom Hulce) are attempting to prove they can deliver a reliable airmail service by flying across the Andes. When one of the young pilots, Henri Guillaumet (Craig Sheffer), crashes on one of the flights in the Andes, a search for him commences. Meanwhile Henri tries to make it home on foot, whilst at home, his wife Noelle (Elizabeth McGovern) and colleagues start to fear the worst.

A little bit of knowledge for you as "Wings of Courage" is reportedly the first dramatic picture shot for IMAX which due to the complexities, expense and logistics of doing so explains why this lasts just 40 minutes. Now I have to admit that I haven't seen "Wings of Courage" in its intended format and have just watched it on a standard screen which of course takes something away from it. But even not watching it in its intended glory there is something still visually captivating about this movie, a beauty and a detail which draws you in. Considering how sharp and detailed this looks on a normal screen it might have been something else to see it in the way it was intended.

The thing is that whilst dramatic "Wings of Courage" is visually arresting when it comes to the storyline that sadly is another matter as watching Guillaumet's attempts to cross the mountains by foot whilst his colleagues search for him isn't that captivating. Yes we get shown the physical trials he faced as he climbed rock faces in his everyday shoes whilst also the psychological battle he faced as he imagined making and not making it back but because so much attention is on the look of the movie that the adventure doesn't deliver like it should.

What this all boils down to is that visually "Wings of Courage" is something special and even when not watched in its intended format is captivating. But for me the focus on delivering something visually stunning over powers the storyline of Guillaumet's struggles in the mountains.