Opening with a nazi being toppled from horseback and then stabbed in the face by a grunting “Wardaddy” (Brad Pitt), this is our introduction to the tail-end of the war, it’s not Dad’s Army.
Seen through the eyes of paper pushing new lad Norman(Logan Lerman) and somewhat foisted upon his rag-tag team of grunts, he acts as something of a hindrance more than a helping hand and is thusly thrown face first into the inhumane action. By Christ do we see it.
David Ayer, no stranger to portraying camaraderie on the battlefield, whether it be the war on drugs/corruption (“Training Day” & “Dark Blue”) or tribalism (“End Of Watch”), this outing serves as a solid reminder of what he’s capable of when not serving casting/narrative gimmickry.
Trudging through war-film clichés can be a thankless task so thankfully this doesn’t chance any token chest-beating jingoism, or remarks on nobility, merely that there really is no place for any morality in war, regardless of which side you’re fighting.
Strong performances from Lerman, Pitt and (“The Walking Dead”) Jon Bernthal (though his haircut did remind me of “Simple Jack” in “Tropic Thunder”, not ideal when taking in man’s inhumanity to man…..), a level of authenticity that will leave you with a coppery taste in your mouth for a while and point-blank brutal visuals all elevate the material.
Come the final hurdle and the war horse takes a tumble, all the authenticity and claustrophobic drama from earlier is somewhat undone by what feels like a “First Person Shooter” with countless seemingly faceless nazi hordes bombarding our heroes through plumes of grenade smoke.
A cracking war movie that regardless of the A-lister heading up the bill, doesn’t resort to token Hollywood schmaltz, feeling a bit like Sam Fuller in parts and Peckinpah in others, I’m looking forward to what Ayer puts on the table next, rumour has it, D.C Comics are eyeing him up for “The Suicide Squad”, you can certainly see why.
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Alton started BRWC as a bit of fun, and has grown into what you see today, and he can only apologise. Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.