31 December 2016 | TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews
Set back 50 years
It's near the end of WWII. In a small border village, seven 16-year-old schoolboys are conscripted as the front moves ever closer. They're made to defend the small local bridge. There are also subplots that add nothing but screen time. This uses very little of the material available, and its 100 minute running time, or 96 and a half without end credits, drags at many points. Characterization is less of a priority than illicit material. Maybe they figured they'd need something to wake the audience up. So every so often, there's nudity, sexuality, or war violence. Even though none of it leads to anything.
Franka Potente is an international film star. So once they had her, they expanded her role from the previous versions of this story, combined several characters, and increased her presence. It amounts to nothing. See, before, it was different people, related to the teens, all individually trying to get them out of the war. They don't succeed, because that's what's accurate. When you have just one person doing that, and failing repeatedly, it gets to be annoying to watch. She doesn't even get closure. One scene has the crush of one of the boys take a similar role, and I swear, it's purely so that there's at least *one* other doing some of that. Where are the parents? They're such a strong element in the 1959 movie. Everyone in the military in this are incompetent, and basically every adult German is a monster. This from the same country who, rightly, made us understand Adolf Hitler, himself?
I recommend this purely to those who are too curious to stay away. 3/10