Published on February 26th, 2010 | by Chris0
Hart’s War (2002)
Hart's War is a courtroom mystery twist drama movie wrapped up in a war movie. There, I said it. While it turns out to be a fair contender in the first categories, as a war movie it just isn't all that.
Lt. Thomas Hart (Colin Farrell) gets sent to Augsburg prison camp in Nazi Germany near the end of the war. Shortly after he arrives, Two of the "Tuskegee Airmen" join their ranks, much to the chagrin of the rest of the rather racist prisoners. One of them, Archer, is framed as trying to escape, and is summarily executed by the guards.
Later, the other, Scott (Terence Howard) is blamed for the death of one of the white prisoners, and to sum it up, a court martial to determine if he's guilty is convened, headed by the ranking officer, Col. McNamara (Bruce Willis.)
And the courtroom drama unfolds, with all the expected twists and reveals you'd find therein. Well, sort of. Seems this whole thing, from Archer's framing and execution onward has been a distraction to keep a "Great Escape" style tunnel from being discovered.
So, in the end, the truth is revealed. Sort of. Actually it doesn't really matter at this point, because any "statements" you've seen have been forgotten waiting for something to happen.
Part of the problem is that it takes nearly a quarter of the movie just to get Hart into the camp. From his capture, interrogation, and transport, the whole sequence takes too long and just doesn't contribute much to the overall purpose of the movie. Maybe its just me, but when the real story begins, I was like "what was all that for then?" Although the trainyard sequence is quite good by itself.
I don't want to rail on the film too much. If you look at it from that point of view, it does make some rather noble sentiments on honor, duty, etc. But unfortunately they're overshadowed by everything else, and, like I said, not much of it matters.
I will give a huge shout to Marcel Iures, who plays the camp commandant Visser to perfection. Not sure what it is about that particular stereotype, but he manages to do it in a way that *doesn't* seem like a caricature of Col. Klink as so often happens. Terence Howard is also quite good in his role. The rest, including Willis and Farrell, just feel, I dunno, along for the ride if you will.
Viewed on Blu Ray, I will give the transfer high marks, but I can't say that it really stood out as fantastic or anything. It was clean and didn't suffer from the "black noise" artifacts I've been seeing lately on Blu Ray. I didn't check out the extras. Just wasn't interested. The audio did have quite a wide range, so you'll be turning it up for the quiet bits and turning it back down again when it gets loud.... or not, depending on how you like it.
I can't bring myself to give this more than a rousing 5/10. Hart's War does make you think about duty, honor, sacrifice, etc., but only briefly.
Summary: I can't bring myself to give this more than a rousing 5/10. Hart's War does make you think about duty, honor, sacrifice, etc., but only briefly.