Wider than a football field, high as a four-storey house, the B-52 bomber is an icon of US military-industrial supremacy, or threat, depending on your vantage point. This over-long documentary blends interviews and archive footage to trace the 50-year history of the aircraft, from '50s deterrence and carpet bombing in Vietnam, through to its recent deployment in the Gulf War and Kosovo. It's best when undercutting the gleaming myth by detailing worrisome peacetime crashes and visiting the Arizona desert junkyard where the planes go to die. The po-faced, politically correct narration labours the point, however, and there's rather too much of a pretentious conceptual artist who pointedly recycles spare parts. Factually fascinating but borderline precious.
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