5 Second Movie Review: War Horse
January 9, 2012 in 5 Second Movie Review
Ach. It may be my meds (and my man-flu) dulling any sentiment, but War Horse did nothing for me, emotionally speaking. The "homestead" scenes echo John Ford to a frightening degree, but the dialogue (and the characters) are drawn too simplistically and the pre-war innocence laid on too thick. I fully expected to be in floods of tears by the end, but what I ended up with was a feeling of a master-manipulator hampered by a childish storyline. Saving Private Ryan this isn't.
The horrors of the growing mechanisation of war don't come across, indeed nothing comes across – nobody is particularly bad to anyone, the insanity of destruction and the swaths of humanity dying in what soon became a mindless battle of contrition are glossed over and trodden on by characterisations more at home in silent cinema. As a passable cineaste, there is one scene in France in a windmill containing a HUGE AND JARRING JUMP-CUT which actually brought me out of the damned movie for about 20 minutes. The music is saccharine to a diabetic degree and the damned filters used in the final scenes are almost laughable. I recommend you watch Paths of Glory again, because this shit is making Siegfried Sassoon spin in his grave, believe me. And yeah – the main scene with the horse in the centre of no-man's land, the key scene, the one that's meant to sum up the madness of war – that just steals from actual events when the British and Germans put down their arms had a nice game of football at Christmas.
The more I think about it, the angrier I'm getting. I went into this with high hopes, but the crashing sense of disappointment I now feel is – like my dripping nose – actually painful.