Chris is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.
Beautiful Carmen Colson and her ironworker husband Wayne are placed in the Federal Witness Protection program after witnessing an "incident". Thinking they are at last safe, they are targeted by an experienced hit man and a psychopathic young upstart killer. The ensuing struggle will test Carmen to the limit.
Decorated Iraq war hero Sgt. Brandon King makes a celebrated return to his small Texas hometown following his tour of duty. He tries to resume the life he left behind. Then, against Brandon's will, the Army orders him back to duty in Iraq, which upends his world. The conflict tests everything he believes in: the bond of family, the loyalty of friendship, the limits of love and the value of honor. Written by
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rob Brown all appeared in the 2013 comedy-drama Don Jon. Tatum and Brown also worked together in 2005's sports drama Coach Carter. Tatum and Gordon-Levitt reunited in the 2009 action film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. See more »
The M4s carried by soldiers in the film are shown firing on full auto. In reality, only select units, such as Special Forces and the Rangers, have this feature available to them. The standard issue M4 (as well as M16A2 and M16A4) is limited to three round bursts. See more »
Maybe the idea was to show the total hopelessness of the conflict--that it was not really a war but urban warfare, and that there is no way to win or to have a happy ending. But that's just an idea--it's not a movie.
I thought that the set-up was fine. But I am not sure the filmmakers knew where to go with it. Their take on the stop-loss policy is obvious, and it is a message that should be heard. But I think the film would have been more interesting if any character exhibited any real growth during the film. The vets were all depicted as basket cases--the most well-adjusted vet seemed to be the double-amputee--he told us why he would want to go back to Iraq and there was at least some productive purpose that would have been served by his return there.
Perhaps there are soldiers who don't mind being stop-lossed--who truly believe they are accomplishing something positive over there. It would have been refreshing to have a character like that--a non-basket case. It would have been good to hear arguments supporting the stop-loss program (if there are any).
The last 20-30 minutes of this film were baffling. The end of the film (not an ending, just an end) was very unsatisfying.
Ryan Philippe did a competent job, but rarely conveyed anything not apparent from the lines or situation. For example, you could see that a lot of his post-war angst was attributable to guilt. How that tied in with the ending is just a mystery to me.
I recall that a very similar military policy was explored by Joseph Heller in Catch-22. I think a comparison to that novel and film is more apt than comparing this to The Deer Hunter.
I wish this film could have been much better than it was.
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