War movies are made to remind us how horrible war is. Another reason to make a war film is to highlight the real life events of a heroic individual or group of individuals. This film was painstakingly dedicated to the accuracy of the setting of the end of World War II in the heart of Germany. Being a Bradley gunner myself and a member of a crew in the Army, I have to say that the tone of the film captures what you feel in combat. This movie gets a yellow light in the final total for not providing anything to walk away with.
Toward the end of World War II a tank crew lead by Don 'Wardaddy' Collier (Brad Pitt) is working in the final push into Germany. His crew of four include Boyd 'Bible' Swan (Shia LeBeouf), Trini 'Gordo' Garcia (Michael Pena), Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis (Jon Bernthal) and Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman). They are sent up against impossible odds as they try and hold a crossroad to protect the Allied lines of support.
One particularly interesting point was the transition we see in the character of Norman. He enters this battle as a fresh recruit who hasn't seen battle. The first opportunity he has to kill someone he doesn't and it cost them four lives. Wardaddy brings him to an unarmed German and forces him to kill him. This is Norman's baptism in blood. The second time targets are presented to him, they are suffering from phosphorous burns and are burning alive. Norman sees their suffering and performs a mercy killing. He is now used to killing as demonstrated by his final choice to kill which is in wrath.
I was a gunner like Bible. His war experience was different than mine but we are still performing the same job. Like him, I am marked by the experiences in the Gulf War. If nothing else this film does capture the way war changes a person forever. Shia LeBeouf's antics may have been a problem on set, but on screen he did a great job of bringing that character to life. You can see the darkness that marks his soul.
Bible says in the film "Wait till you see it... what a man can do to another man." The horrors of war are not entertaining. This film feels like a project that was created to play in the setting of World War II.
I went with @wydeopen and he asked me where this film fits in with other war movies. I would have to place this somewhere on the bottom of the list. There is nothing it teaches us and it gives us nothing of historical significance. I walked out feeling empty.
The Director (David Ayer) has mastered the ability to capture settings that are dark and gritty. I think his talents will be well used in his upcoming project, Suicide Squad. As a storyteller, he does a good job of presenting a dark feel to his films. He has a good eye for action and tension in scenes.
Looking at this review I haven't written with my usual humorous flare, I think its a reflection of how I felt about the movie. Were there any movies that made you feel like that?