Published on April 4th, 2008 | by Chris0
The Four Horsemen (2007)
The Iraq war has certainly brought about a turning point in the way Hollywood approaches the typical war movie. From the pointless wailing of Redacted, to the countless documentaries, and then odd little films such as The Four Horsemen.
The Four Horsemen refers to a group of four guys, who gave themselves the moniker since they took their high school football team to the championships and won. After high school they all joined up with the Marine Corps., and predictably were sent off to Iraq.
When one of them is killed in action, the remaining three are brought back home for his funeral, and are forced to deal with their actions, their feelings, the ones they left behind, and their current situations. Two of the remaining four are slated to go back to Iraq in a too-short 48 hours, the third back to Walter Reed, where he is presumably still going through therapy after losing his right arm and leg.
If you're looking for a well-produced, well-written, well-acted, polished bit of cinema, let me say right off the bat: This isn't it. There are a lot of times you will find yourself rolling your eyes, or just plain shouting at the screen "WTF?"
*But* where the production may not be "all that," the overarching sentiment of the picture more than makes up for it. If ever there was a picture that could show in the span of 90 minutes the entire gamut of emotion and public opinion about the war in Iraq, the soldiers fighting it, the toll war takes on a person and their loved ones back home, and about the entire business of it all.... This is it.
I mean it, if you can get past the surface, The Four Horsemen at its core is really an excellent exercise. I really found myself identifying with nearly all of the characters, and feeling some of the same things they do. When Manny goes back to his father with his bronze star, and spills his terrible secret about what happened to his friend... you realize that *this* kind of thing is what actually happens.
It's about the people. The people doing the fighting and the people back home dealing with it. The film doesn't go as far as to interject a political opinion on the war one way or another, actually it kind of flip-flops on the issue, several times. And that's exactly how it should be. None of that matters, though, to the people involved. It is how it is and they (and we) really can't change it.
If it wasn't for a few moments of profanity and a sex-scene (which I have to add seemed a bit gratuitous and out of place) I would recommend this picture for showing to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
But, good intentions really aren't enough to save The Four Horsemen, I have to succumb and give it a five/ten. I really would've liked to give it higher marks, but despite a grand effort, and an entirely noble sentiment, it is a bit of a struggle, both emotionally (which is good) *and* just to get through (which is not.)
The film also gives a closing kudo to Iraq vet Mark O'Brien, who plays Eric in the film. I'll do the same. To lose a part of yourself like he has, both on the outside and inside, and then to make a film like this... it must've been very difficult. Thanks, man.
The Four Horsemen
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Four high school football stars enlist in the Marines to serve their country in Iraq. Unfortunately, they don't all return home. The ones that do survive face guilt, problems assimilating back into every day life, and a society that doesn't seem to support them...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Brand: PEACE ARCH HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Manufacturer: Peace Arch Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Peace Arch Entertainment
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: good intentions really aren't enough to save The Four Horsemen, I have to succumb and give it a five/ten. I really would've liked to give it higher marks, but despite a grand effort, and an entirely noble sentiment, it is a bit of a struggle, both emotionally (which is good) *and* just to get through (which is not.)