16 December 2013 | natashabowiepinky
War. Is. Zzzzzz(?)
There are some who will proclaim this to be a modern classic, a brilliant parable on the realities of war and the effect it can have on the psyche. I cannot agree. Through all of the archive montages of buildings being set on fire, planes flying through the air and squaddies setting out to sea, I was just twiddling my fingers. If I wanted to see old Pathe footage, I would have watched a documentary. But I didn't, so the fact so much of it takes up the meagre 72 minutes running time strikes me as outright lazyness.
Mind you, what's actually been shot for the film isn't too great either, as our too-polite-by-half main character gets enrolled in the army during training scenes that are about 1% as interesting as those in Full Metal Jacket. We then follow his career until D-Day itself, falling in love with a girl at a bar and voicing his disquiet at the conflict in the letters he sends. Problem is, this bloke is as dull as ditchwater, and his fellow soldiers, on the rare occasions they open their mouths, are just a bunch of one-dimensional stereotypes. The most interesting participant here is Tina, the cocker spaniel our young recruit says goodbye to at the start. Someone get that dog a contract.
I can appreciate the use of a bit of celluloid material from back then, to set the scene and give us an idea of what life was like during the period. But here, it monopolises half the length, which is far too much for a product marketed as a movie. And why did they have to choose to follow someone so vanilla in the title role? I was reminded of the film Titanic, where despite the hundreds more enthralling prospects on board, the director opted to show us the lives of the two most tedious passengers. WHY?? By the time his eventual fate is revealed, and has done or said nothing to endear us to him... so, who cares?
War can be many things... but surely it should not send you to sleep? 4/10