By Scott Nehring
Perhaps its a bad idea to make a film about World War I that has a longer running time than the war itself.
There’s a great number of things going for this film, too bad none of them made it onto the screen. A story about World War I flying aces shotting it out over France? A chance to see the old planes in action? A possible throwback to an older style war movie? This film offers some exiciting possibilities. It delivers on none of them.
This film is a distracted mess. There could have been an engaging story involving the pilots dealing with the grim reality that they were all probably going to die while also living the fleeting lives to the fullest. The film moves a decidely different direction and concentrates on a limp love story between a French woman who can’t speak English and an American that can’t act. The heat between lead James Franco and his love interest Jennifer Decker is timid. I’ve seen more exiting chemistry when I’ve added half and half to my coffee in the morning.
The other portion of the film, the part involving pilots and flying doesn’t fare much better. The fight sequences are chaotic and poorly presented. It is nearly impossible to tell who is who because everyone is (of course) covered in headgear and flying identical planes. It is like trying to do a police lineup with everyone wearing football helmets. Beyond this, there isn’t a clear and active nemesis. The lack of a present villain joined with the a dearth of deep supporting characters, reduces the fight sequences into obtuse, buzzing interludes that bookend the awkward love interest scenes.
This should have been a great movie, but it’s not even a marginal one. It’s likely someone you know will look at the DVD box and think it looks good. The marketing does look good. Then again, the marketing of this film is the only successful part of the whole effort.
Don’t bother with this one folks, it will only waste your time and let you down.
About the Author: Scott Nehring is an independent film critic, published on a number of sites in America and Australia. His readers enjoy his humorous, concise and unapologetic reviews of the latest releases. Visit his site Nehring the Edge at