Movie Review

'The Blue Angels' On Amazon Prime Video Review: A Documentary That Is Visually Breathtaking But Lacks The Emotional Connect

Outlook Rating:
2 / 5

'The Blue Angels' is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Is this documentary worth watching or you can choose to skip it? Read the full review to find out.

Amazon Prime Video
A still from 'The Blue Angels' Photo: Amazon Prime Video

For over 75 years, the Blue Angels have mesmerized audiences across the United States and worldwide with their aerial demonstrations. A new documentary sheds light on the life of the people who form the Blue Angels. Amazon MGM Studios and IMAX have presented a new documentary that takes the audience into the cockpit of the US Navy’s elite flight demonstration squad. If you are planning to unwind by binge-watching this documentary, here’s all you need to know about ‘The Blue Angels.’

‘The Blue Angels’: Story

This documentary shows how the Blue Angels have established themselves as a premier jet team globally. It has numerous aerial demonstration shots that will wow you. But beyond the aerial spectacle, ‘The Blue Angels’ also provides an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become a Blue Angel. It covers the meticulous selection process, the rigorous training regimen, the demanding eight-month show season, and their outreach programs. It also pays tribute to the teamwork and dedication of the Navy and Marine Corps personnel who have served in the Blue Angels squadron, both past and present.

‘The Blue Angels’: Performances

Being a documentary, there isn’t much to comment on the performances. What works well for the documentary is how it relies entirely on interviews. Apart from interviews, the shots that take you into how the Blue Angels are trained also help in unraveling the mystery behind this group. The documentary centers on first-year flyers Chris “Cheese” Kapuschansky and Scott “Jamz” Goossens as they master the rigorous standards and choreography.

The director takes the audience into the pilots’ world, starting with a recitation of their creed and a briefing by 2022 flight leader Brian “Boss” Kesselring. Apart from the interviews and BTS shots, the aerial sequences also highlight the pilots’ dedication to perfecting their performance through meticulous review and discussion.

‘The Blue Angels’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

‘The Blue Angels’ runs the risk of standing out as “military propaganda” due to its favourable portrayal of the U.S. Army. Opinions on this aspect may vary based on individual views of the U.S. military. However, by focusing on a unit dedicated to public relations rather than combat operations, Paul Crowder’s documentary appears more transparent in its goals. It successfully shows the squadron’s exceptional skills and dedication.

However, amidst this earnest attempt what brings the documentary down is that it fails to resonate with you. It lacks that emotional connection. Despite Kesselring’s charisma, the documentary provides only superficial details about him, leaving viewers feeling like they barely know him by the end. Interviews highlight the pilots’ challenges of being away from loved ones and the inherent dangers of their performances, but these aspects are not divulged in much detail. If this was discussed in detail, it would have made for a poignant watch. The documentary also introduces the squadron’s first female pilot, Amanda Lee, but her appearance is so close to the finale that it provides little insight into her story which would have lent an exciting angle.

As a documentary, it lacks the dramatic stakes and sticks only to the first-person narrative. But this has resulted in the documentary looking like a promotional film. Crowder’s film is visually stunning to look at, but that’s just about it. It lacks the substance and the meat to keep you glued. It provides no depth and no additional information that you could not have found out by reading a few blogs online.

‘The Blue Angels’: Cast & Crew

Director: Paul Crowder

Producer: Glen Powell, JJ Abrams

Available On: Amazon Prime Video

Duration: 92 minutes

Languages: English

‘The Blue Angels’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes, with parental guidance.

Outlook’s Verdict

‘The Blue Angels’ delivers stunning visual spectacles and an intriguing glimpse into the lives of the Navy flight squadron. While it excels in showcasing the pilots’ precision and dedication, the documentary falls short in providing a deep emotional connection or substantial personal insights. The film’s focus on first-person narratives and interviews offers an insightful behind-the-scenes look, yet it often feels more like a promotional piece than an in-depth exploration. I am going with 2 stars.