Suffused in a buttery-digital glow, as if shot on special film made of liquid fudge, Steven Spielberg's disappointing, coercively sentimental version of War Horse has a baffling, soulless, artificial look. This is the story of young Albert Narracott, played by newcomer Jeremy Irvine, the son of tough West Country farming folk Ted and Rose (Peter Mullan and Emily Watson). He is so passionately devoted to their horse, Joey, that when the poor beast is sold off to the army in 1914, Albert lies about his age to join up, on a desperate mission to find Joey, and is destined for a heart-stopping reunion with his beloved horse on the field of battle itself.
I had hoped that this movie would combine Et-Spielberg and Saving-Private-Ryan-Spielberg in a massive double-whammy. Neither is forthcoming.