1917 – 5

Despite theoretically compressing 18 non-stop hours into a two-hour film, the pace was so slow that I kept overanalyzing  the absurd story. Yes, war is senseless, but if 1,200 lives are at stake, can’t you do better than send a total greenhorn and whomever he chooses off on a horrendously challenging rescue mission? And why do they have to crawl over corpses through no-man’s land when there is an armed caravan of Allied troops driving up the road ahead of them? And when our hero meets this caravan, why is he sent off alone on this crucial mission? And what about the planes flying overhead? Can’t they deliver a message? And why are our heroes loath to hurt the Germans when they encounter them? As other critics have noted, we bounce from obstacle to obstacle like a video game, without any effort at characterization; and this movie competes with Harriet for glossing over how the end zone is miraculously reached. Having Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch in the roles of commanding officers only accentuated the inappropriateness of entrusting our two with anything.

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