Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Chris1
War Horse (2011)
So, there's going to be this movie about a horse. In WWI. Directed by Spielberg.
Oh, boy, this ought to be good. (Note the heavy sarcasm.)
But, actually. It's not bad, not bad at all. I might even go so far as... It's pretty darned good. Actually.
Spielberg has managed to evoke the spirits of 1930's/Frank Capra-style Hollywood with War Horse. From the start, it has that "feel" to it. Whether the result of the script, the acting, the direction, the production/sets, or Williams' always-excellent soundtrack.... you can't help but think that if this were in black and white with a few scratches here and there... you'd never know the difference.
But the story: British farmer boy Albert (Jeremy Irvine) comes into a horse, bought at auction in a pissing match with his landlord. The horse, "Joey" as Albert calls him, isn't fit for farm duty, but Albert manages to whip him into shape and prove everyone wrong. When the British army comes looking for materiel for the war effort, Dad sells Joey off into service.
Well, Joey nearly gets killed (in a rather scathing commentary on officers), escapes, gets adopted by a sick French girl and her grandfather, captured by the Germans, put into service, and finally winds up stuck in the wire in no-mans-land.
He's cut free in one of the more cornball scenes of the movie, and eventually reunited with the wounded Albert, who has also found himself in the trenches. Grandfather shows up, gets the horse, gives him back, and Albert and Joey ride off into the sunset.
That's pretty much the story. Some good 1930's/1940's classic matinee fare. And that's what this movie is at its core. There's no bloody realistic combat (although the scenes do manage to imply quite a bit), no language, nothing at all which would prevent me from letting the kids watch this. Parts may go sailing over their head, probably quite a few adults as well... but all-in-all a pretty good movie.
I have to give War Horse a 7/10. I actually went into this with the intent of *not* enjoying it, but Spielberg managed to change my mind. Not an easy feat.
Summary: So, there's going to be this movie about a horse. In WWI. Directed by Spielberg. Oh, boy, this ought to be good. (Note the heavy sarcasm.) But, actually. It's not bad, not bad at all.