Two young soldiers, Bartle (21) and Murph (18) navigate the terrors of the Iraq war under the command of the older, troubled Sergeant Sterling. All the while, Bartle is tortured by a promise he made to Murph's mother before their deployment.
"Yellow Birds" follows John Bartle and the difficulties he faces in keeping his humanity, his urge to survive and his friend Murph alive during the war in Iraq, as well as his life and struggles with his memories of the war after he comes back to Virginia.Written by
The mechanics of this movie were good, the quality of the movie was good, the acting itself was just OK but a little bit lacking, for that it barely scratches a 5 for me. First let's get a pure aesthetic thing out of the way. If you are going to make a war film, get the actual equipment right. The U.S. Army uses Blackhawk helicopters and have for quite awhile now. Go to the military's public affairs office, find their office that works with Hollywood and the film industry and arrange for some Blackhawks not Huey's. The movie comes off as high quality enough to take that step. Oh, and you are not going to have those gun truck, Humvees with turrets, supporting you without someone in the hatch with some fire power.
Now. The acting here was just OK, not great, maybe good. The scenes though and the whole plot reveal at the end...it is just hogwash. Plain and simple. This is not how soldiers behave and not what I (as a veteran) can tell you, would even be imaginable. The platoon/ company/ chain of command dynamic is completely absent. The squad dynamic is altogether wrong, and those are huge plot holes. The writer has only a small vague understanding of how men and women in our armed forces behave, and interact with each other and how military operations work. I am trying not to give away any spoilers but the incident in the film is something that would be a million to one shot of happening in real life, and the way the follow on was carried out would have even longer odds. That doesn't even get to the odds that soldiers would think in this way, let alone carry out. Frankly, I can't even imagine a scenario where anything like this could actually even be conceived or even began to be carried out without hitting immediate large roadblocks that would cease it immediately in today's military. Again I can give it a 5 on some of it's cinematic merits but ultimately it doesn't overcome huge realistic obstacles. I don't believe it has any political/ideological objectives as far as being pro or anti-war. If it did it fails on that but I'm hoping that there wasn't one. Mostly this just suffers from a real lack of realism which draws in a lack of real connection and feeling. If they changed it into a more entertaining action movie that might make it more passable, but for the drama they were trying to portray it was overall lacking.
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