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Stars: Iwan Rheon, Milo Gibson, Marcin Dorocinski, Stefanie Martini, Krystof Hadek, Nicholas Farrell

Director: David Blair

A rather misleading title, since this sometimes poignant action film is not so much about the famous wartime fighter planes, as the many Polish airmen who flew them.

In this heavily biased account of one part of the Battle of Britain, you'd pretty much think that the Poles won the war for the RAF, although their squadron (303) admittedly had the highest 'kill' rate of any (126 enemy planes downed in six weeks).

Although one has to sympathise with the men from Poland who found themselves unwanted when the war was over (some of them were 'repatriated'), it's little details that see the film fail to carry us in its wake. A Polish airman complains that the Germans 'are shooting us...and people we love'. But is it not the same the other way round?

And there's the bullying officer who almost throttles the female planner (Martini) who proves him wrong about an impending threat. Would he really rather have her keep quiet and see dozens of men and aircraft obliterated?

The aerial dogfights (occasionally intercut with real foot age) are decently done, although it's sometimes difficult to identify which pilots are getting killed and which survive.

Despite a good leading performance from Welsh actor Rheon (Ramsay from TV's Game of Thrones) - even if his accent sounds Russian rather than Polish - it's a worthy subject given a less than worthy tribute.

David Quinlan

UK 2018. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour (unspecified).
106 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 02 Sep 2018