The all-action movie star, Bruce Willis, is set to headline an epic new war film based on an untold true story. Air Strike (previously known as The Bombing) treats the audience to thrilling airborne dogfights as well as showing the courage of China’s citizens and their pilots during World War II.
The focus of the film is the Japanese bombings of Chongqing which occurred from February 18, 1938, to August 23, 1943. A total of 268 air raids happened in the skies above Chongqing, and more than 11,500 bombs were dropped.
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Chongqing was the provisional capital of the Nationalist government of the Republic of China from 1937 to 1945. The Japanese would often target business areas as well as schools and hospitals, most likely with the aim of intimidating the Chinese government.
The death tolls resulting from these raids were huge. On June 5, 1941, the Japanese made more than 20 sorties over the course of three hours. Some residents tried to hide from the bombs in a tunnel, but 4,000 of them died through asphyxiation.
Around July 1939, the U.S. placed an embargo on the export of aircraft parts to Japan. This was the first time the U.S. had placed an economic sanction against that nation. However, the U.S. wasn’t about to stop there, and 12 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they revealed a new, deadly fighting force.
On December 20, 1941, the Flying Tigers were first seen in the skies. Also known as the First American Volunteer Group (AVG), the Tigers had pilots from the United States Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps. Although they were Americans, the volunteers were officially members of the Chinese Air Force.
The AVG had three fighter squadrons of around 30 aircraft each. These squadrons trained in Burma and when they finally entered into combat, they achieved innovative tactical victories. News of such achievements spread fast at a time when the U.S. news was filled with stories about the Americans being defeated by the Japanese.
Before they were disbanded in 1942, the Tigers destroyed 296 enemy aircraft while only losing 14 of their own pilots.
The film follows U.S. Army Air Forces commander and AVG member, Jack Johnson (Willis), as he trains Chinese aviators to battle Japanese fighters. One hot-headed recruit tries to convince Johnson that he can pilot a powerful bomber that could help stop the attacks. The movie also focuses on a team of spies and refugees who must carry a game-changing decoder device through the war-torn countryside.
Bruce Willis has starred in many films over the years, from Die Hard in 1988 to The Sixth Sense in 1999, as well as RED and its sequel, RED 2 (2010 and 2013 respectively). He is joined in this film by Adrien Brody, known for such films as The Pianist (2002) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2011).
The movie was filmed as a memorial for the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in WWII. It’s due to be released on DVD & Digital HD on October 29, 2018.
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