Interesting stuff is going on here. The melange of film genres. What you think is going to be a straight forward war drama makes a right turn at about the 75th minute with no going back. To keep things a surprise do not watch the trailer.
June 5, 1944 D-Day is looming over the Allied forces and several American soldiers are given a special mission. In order for D-Day to be a success these paratroopers have to complete a dangerous task. They will be dropped behind enemy lines and have to destroy a radio tower. This particular tower is in an old French town and is how the Nazis communicate between Normandy and Berlin.
Right from the get go things do not go smoothly with the mission. The plane is shot down and many die. Several more are killed by Nazi patrols. This leaves Private Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo – Fences, mother!), Corporel Ford (Wyatt Russell – 22 Jump Street, Goon: Last of the Enforcers), sniper Tibbet (John Magaro – The Big Short, Carol), Private Dawson (Jacob Anderson – from television’s Game of Thrones), and war photographer Chase (Iain de Caestecker – from television’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.). Ford assumes the role of leader of the survivors. Despite being a small group they forge on with the mission.
Once at the town, they group meets up with Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier – The Misfortunes of Francois Jane), who helps them out. Once Boyce gets inside the radio tower he discovers something horrifying happening there. It could also mean a victory for the Nazis. The ragtag group has to do something that will put a stop to that.
Chaos seems to be the name of the game here. This is most certainly not your typical war film. While it is gorey, violent and filled with action there are some new things to be found. Rather stylistically it goes towards a more comic book style or B-movie. They still use some historical facts in order to give it some kind of a feeling of reality. But just barely. At times I almost felt like I was in the midst of a video game.
It does borrow from the styles of other directors like John Carpenter and even Tarantino while still being different enough. Director/screenwriter Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) gives glimpses into the type of filmmaker he is and things he has to still improve upon. Avery does infuse the film with some humour to counterbalance all the blood. This type of film is all about escaping and diverting attention from real life. A weak point is the stuff just before the climax. The film sorta drags in the middle, but make sure you make it through to get the bloody payoff.
One of the films producers is JJ Abrams, so that should be an indication of what you are in for here. The guy does not seem to get involved in a film which isn’t big, splashy and unexpected. Definite twists to be experienced there.
- The Horrors of War – Featurettes
- Death Above
- Death on the Ground
- Death Below
- Death No More
- Brothers in Arms