Career Journalist Mike Boettcher takes his son to the war zone in Afghanistan, covering U.S. Combat Troops on the front lines. What starts out as an effort to reconnect with his son, becomes a remarkable true story and fight for survival for all.Written by
Mike and Carlos Boettcher originally did not want their journey to be part of the film. They only wanted to tell the stories of the Army, Marine, Air Force and Navy units they were embedded with for almost two years. They were the only father-son conflict journalist team to ever do this type of long term embedded in a war zone and became the only father-son team to win two Emmys for the work that is the basis of part of the film. The Co-Directors David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud convinced them their story and journey was critical to the heart of the story. See more »
Less of a war documentary, more of a journalist documentary
Before starting, the movie was more-so a documentary on the journalist than it was the soldiers. It seemed the soldiers were sidelined the whole time and more of a side story for the journalists. Unlike Restrepo, the movie was pitched from the journalist's (Mike and Carlos Boetcher) point of view and mainly from Mike's point of view as the father. It isn't until the last 15 minutes of the movie that they seem to care at all about the soldiers, finally having interviews with them on their combat actions and their opinions, which even then seemed more like a 30 second piece than the reason for the movie.
The first major thing watching the movie to bug me, however, was that they felt the need to add a vast amount of sound effects. From added gun noises, to yelling, to bullet sounds, they would frequently place these added effects over the combat footage as if that combat (real combat) wasn't exciting enough. Being an Afghan War Veteran myself, I felt this was kind of a jab, to say that the soldier's actual stories and actual combat was not worthy of Hollywood. After also watching movies such as Restrepo, I feel this was completely unnecessary.
Those things aside, the movie wasn't awful. I do feel it should have been more about the actual soldiers and the war rather than Mike. I found it rather ironic as well that with him taking so much of the movie to direct to himself and his son, and take away from the soldiers, that he later goes on to say that he was trying to tell their stories.
Overall, for a civilian the movie will hopefully paint a slightly better picture on the war, and it was still done quite well. I just have my feelings on the side due to my past experiences.
37 of 52 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this