Friday, February 28, 2020

Movie Review - 1917

I have a great interest in The Great War, The War to End All Wars (if only it had), so I was curious to watch the latest flick about that time. The trailer looked okay, but it was the overwhelmingly positive reviews from nearly everyone that really got me excited to see this film. But would it deliver?

1917 is a 2019 action war film. It is rated R for language, violence, and harsh images, and is appropriate for adults.

The Good

Cinematography. This movie was very well shot with it looking like it is nearly one continuous shot. The way the camera moves and captures the scenes makes you feel like you are in the middle of the war with the main characters. Unlike so many modern films, this one lets the camera step back and see the scene around so you can enjoy the great environments instead of pushing the camera in everyone's face so you feel like you are in tight quarters and can't really see anything.

Variety. This movie had a lot of variety in setting, in action, in peril, and everything else. I was kind of afraid I'd get bored with the same soldiers walking thru No Man's Land for two hours, but there were scenes in rivers, towns, grassy fields, trenches, underground, in the day, at night, and more.

Not Gratuitous. The Great War was a horrendous affair filled with scenes that could give anyone nightmares. The filmmakers really held back the gristly imagery showing only what was necessary for the story and no more. I appreciated that. I was afraid I was going to be sick if I saw this film.

Surprise. Most of this film is what you expect, but there was a shocking surprise in the film that wasn't even hinted at in any of the trailers, ads, or reviews and it occurred at a very unexpected time. I'm amazed with as much as had been said about this film, no one let this cat out of the bag.

The Bad

Peril and Suspense. There was real peril and real suspense in this film, but not as much as I would have thought, and I was fairly comfortable the whole time and almost never at the edge of my seat. They could have ramped up the peril and danger just a little bit.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

Put me on the edge of my seat more.


1917 has been called a near perfect movie and a cinematic masterpiece, and that praise isn't much of an exaggeration. This is an excellent film filled with amazing visuals, a unique storytelling device with the "uninterrupted shot for the whole movie", and a variety of action and peril. Being a Great War flick, this could have easily turned into a horror fest, but the filmmakers kept the gristly visuals to a minimum only showing a few necessary images to convey the proper mood. The story is good and the pacing, while a little slow in parts, mostly keeps moving. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 Boxes of Popcorn.



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