Mel Gibson delivers an electrifying performance in director Peter Weir’s (The Truman Show, Witness) compelling story of friendship and adventure between two Australian soldiers in 1915.
I would argue that Mark Lee was the main focus of this story with Mel Gibson being the supporting actor, but who am I to argue with Amazon’s marketing fluff for a 37 year old movie. And what a movie it was, showing the absolute joy that the men felt before signing up to go off to war, how they expected it to be an exciting and rousing event that would define them, turning them into wise old men that did their part to save their country. As with most of the WW1 movies I’ve watched nearly 2/3 of the movie is dedicated to showing just how those expectations were set, then the final 1/3 of the movie is a brutal and ultimately final resetting of those expectations. The battle that they portray was a horrible one, not so much because of the difficulty of their mission, but because of the futility of the orders they were given, being asked again and again to throw themselves into meatgrinders with no thought for tactics or consequences.
WW1 was a stupid war, but this was a great movie.
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