It's hard to tell if this film is trying to emulate a classic film because, itself, it aspires to be a classic, or if it's simply trying to convey classic themes like loyalty, love, courage. If it's the latter, which I believe it is, if the framing of this was a means to an end, then it does a very good job. WWI was an unprecedented and shocking clash between the Victorian era's stilted quaintness and the coming mechanistic, disorderly and pointless horror of the 20th century's bloodletting. If you know anything about history, you could see just how vulnerable the soldiers were even as early in the film as seeing their training 'charge' with swords. My response was, yeah, right. Now that's going to work! As the war predictably devolves, the film relentlessly remains faithful what we all hope is true (and have since the wars since): that loyalty, love, and courage prevail. In this case, through a horse and a boy. It's a classic.
12 people found this review helpful
The source material was not all that interesting to begin with, and the only redeeming factor was the horse narrating. Since that was not present, this movie is just a bunch of things on a screen. Also there were enough subplots to fill a Nolan film. The only redeeming thing about this film is Tom Hiddleson, but even HE is painfully bland. Also, the book is a 190 page quick read. The movie has almost a three hour runtime. Sure you can make the same argument for the Hobbit Trilogy, but those are cool.
17 people found this review helpful
Bad squared. Some good special effects and very well done sets cannot put a dent in the absolute lack of story or message. I think Spielberg took the script from the 1980’s Black Beauty and simply added his goto ”evil Germans”. I hope he is done playing the race card from now on.
10 people found this review helpful