There’s not a whole lot about the first 94 years of manned flight that you can cover in a 39-minute movie.
So, true to the spirit of IMAX technology, “The Magic of Flight” director Greg MacGillivray serves up in thrills what he lacks in content. And trust me here: If you’re at all prone to motion sickness, this film will have you swigging Dramamine.
That’s because for a good portion of its running time, MacGillivray puts you in the seat of a Navy F/A-18 - the jet of choice for the Blue Angels flying team - as its pilots hurtle through the sky at blazing speeds.
When we’re not in jets, we’re flying with stunt pilots Sean Tucker or Patty Wagstaff as they literally tumble over open-mouthed air-show crowds.
MacGillivray, working with a script narrated by television actor Tom Selleck, does provide us a bit of context. He uses stock black-and-white footage of the Wright brothers’ famous Kitty Hawk flights to note the past. And he fills in the occasional dead spots with interviews and shots of birds taking off and landing.
But even the youngest of moviegoers likely won’t have to squirm long before MacGillivray returns us to the sky. And there we watch as six Blue Angles fly upside down in formation, wingtips barely a yard apart, at hundreds of miles an hour. We watch some of the same pilots land and take off from aircraft carriers (sorry, you Air Force pilots, but the Navy does get all the attention here).
And we enjoy the bird’s-eye view as, typical of IMAX films, that giant screen takes us on low-level swoops over forests, rivers and snow-tipped mountains.
My stomach still hasn’t recovered.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: “The Magic of Flight” ***-1/2 Location: IMAX Credits: Directed by Greg MacGillivray Run time: :39 Rating: Not rated
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