I’ve seen plenty of war movies. And most are very emotional. I expected the same from this one. But strangely… I felt distanced from the characters the entire time. And I usually tear up at almost every movie I see.
I was thrilled to see Shia Lebeouf in a movie again–I have loved him since his Disney Channel days. But he wasn’t given much of an opportunity to shine in his role. Really, all of the actors felt like they were being boxed in and not given the opportunities needed to make this movie great.
The firefights looked like scenes from a science fiction movie. The tracers made it seem like a laser fight. I find it hard to believe everyone was really using the tracers that abundantly back then. And I really doubt they glowed as much as the movie depicted them too. (I’m in the military, I’ve been in simulators, the stuff being used today does not look like what’s in the movie. Except for at night, the fire does look that bright at night. But nothing glows that much in the day time.) Some of the explosions are just plain fireworks. Intentional or not, that’s what it looked like.
Aside from that… the plot was a teaser throughout. The German tanks were talked up about being superior. So I thought maybe the US would steal a German tank, like how we stole a submarine in U2. That would have been a cool twist. And would have played in well with the fact one of their tank mates spoke and read German.
But no. There was one scene where a German tank takes out four of the five US tanks and other than that, the whole German superior tanks have nothing to do with the movie. I was really hoping they were gonna steal that tank… sigh.
Then the troops settle down in a German town for a bit. And everything turns into stereotypes. All the horny soldiers start having sex with the locals and getting drunk. I was hoping for a rape scene, you know, give me some raw drama or something. (cause remember, I have been emotionally detached for this entire movie) But no. Everyone is just a horn dog and nothing really comes of it. They hint that it might happen, but it doesn’t. So again, I am left feeling let down.
Remember, I said the movie is a teaser. Builds things up so it could do something dramatic, but… it doesn’t. The big fight at the end, where they all stand their ground and try to prevent the enemy from passing them. Another let down.
At first, the tank mates look like they might split up. Some don’t want to do the suicide mission. This would have again created some awesome drama. Maybe one of them could have come back later and saved the saved the day, bringing some back up troops or something. But no, they all stay and fight to the bitter end.
And they don’t even hold the line. The Germans get through. And the only one who survives is a coward who hides, and he is then told by others that he’s a hero. Uh, what? Yeah, not sure what anyone was thinking with that kind of ending.
Overall it wasn’t a horrible movie. But there are much better war movies out there that I would pick to see instead of this. See it if you want. But I’m giving it a so-so rating.