CRITICS The masters of the air

Mar 15, 2024 | Series Reviews

After changing war movies forever with Saving Private Ryan in 1998, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks decided to delve deeper into the homage to the American army that fought in Europe in World War II. Blood Brothers (2001) became an instant legendary series, with its charismatic characters such as Lieutenant Winters. Nine years later came The Pacific, with an equally expensive production but with much more debatable artistic and dramatic results.
The Masters of the Air is the long-awaited third part of the trilogy and the fourth most expensive series in the history of television, behind only The Rings of Power, Citadel and Stranger Things. Apple TV takes over from HBO (it is clear that this platform was not in economic conditions to assume that budget), and has a very young cast, led by actors such as Austin Butler (Oscar nominated for Elvis) or Callum Turner(Emma). Among the group of directors chosen, Cary Joji Fukunaga, responsible for the first and best season of True Detective, stands out.
With all this economic and artistic arsenal, and a story as exciting as that of the American air force that bombed the last remnants of Nazism in Germany in World War II, it was hard not to get excited about this series. But every week that a new episode was released, a new disappointment was added. Obviously there are some spectacular shots and praiseworthy technical details, but the story is marked by a very neutral and flat tone, with overly gelled characters engaging in overly artificial dialogue.
Nor do the battle scenes have the clarity and emotion they should convey. The editing is somewhat chaotic, and it's hard to get into the heat of a battle that is barely glimpsed. Nor does the soundtrack by Black Neely(The Mentalist, Five Brothers) bring personality and vibrancy to the images.
In short, The Masters of the Air repeats the same dramatic shortcomings of The Pacific, falling far short of the exceptional level enjoyed by the war genre in recent years(Until the Last Man, Dunkirk, All Quiet at the Front, 1944, Land of Mine, City of Life and Death).

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