Friday, January 18, 2008

To End All Wars

To End All Wars. Pretty awesome cover, good reviews, a somewhat unique setting(Scottish POW's in a Japanese prison camp in Thailand)

Good start, Scottish soldiers, bagpipes, real Scottish actors. I'm a big fan of Robert Carlyle. Maybe he'll be a good guy in this movie? No, don't hold your breath. Big, blustery Scot James Cosmo(Braveheart, etc) is big and blustery, doing his thing. Keifer Sutherland is in the house, being the shady American.

Japanese soldiers are portrayed as horrible, inhumane guards, trying to break the spirit of the noble Scots. Beating, abusing, even killing, prisoners for all kinds of slights, while severely underfeeding and overworking them. The prison camp was tasked with building a railroad through the jungle, connecting Thailand with India.

The prisoners start having little classes, to try to stay sane. This is where it gets cheesy. I hate, HATE it when people spout random Shakespeare quotes to sounds edumacated. Some random dying dude 'Taught Shakespeare at Cambridge', and to prove it he spouts a few lines from the most quoted monologue of the worlds best known play, Hamlet. The leader of their little group tries to teach these emaciated, desperate men Plato's version of justice. They have a graduation, giving out 'diplomas' for things like Ethics.

The school aspect is tedious and ridiculous. There are also some waaaaaay overhanded religious overtones, culminating with a man actually getting crucified. I think this movie had potential, but I really disliked it.

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