Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, War
Director: Ang Lee
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 113 minutes

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Gives a different point of view on war, good acting
Bad: Might get confusing at times with the flashbacks
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

There are many good things in humanity, but there are flaws as well. For instance, the lust for power and territory or other struggles can lead to war. This occurred so many times before and will probably happen again in the future. Soldiers risk their lives for us and although they’re often deemed heroes, can we truly understand what they’re going through?

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

We’re teleported back to 2004, when the war in Iraq was still going on fiercely. The American troops were sent to help the people but all of it came at a hefty price. The fighters weren’t that welcome and their efforts might not always seemed correct, which had an impact both physically and mentally. There is an incident that shook America and gave them some new heroes. Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) was recorded while helping the wounded sergeant ‘Shroom’ (Vin Diesel). His efforts were in vain though and he wasn’t able to save his superior. At any rate, their story gets immensely popular and they end up being treated as heroes.

To increase the morale of the American people, the Bravo team must go on a tour.  Not only Billy but also Dime (Garrett Hedlund), Sykes (Barney Harris), Mango (Arturo Castro) and other members are invited. Their last stop is the Thanksgiving Day football game, organised by Norm Oglesby (Steve Martin) where they have to do some kind of performance. They’re pulled into every direction and there are certain parties that are interested in making a movie. Everyone is proud of their heroes, but can they comprehend what those soldiers are going through? Billy’s sister Kathryn (Kristen Stewart) doesn’t want her brother to go back to that hellhole, doing everything she can to keep him home, but is this what Billy wants?

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

If you were hoping for raw action, with bloodshed on the battlefield while intestines are splattered everywhere, you’re barking against the wrong tree. Of course there are some flashbacks to the time Bravo team was still stationed in Iraq. These bits and pieces might not make much sense at the beginning but the purpose of these memories will become clear eventually. Since there are quite some interruptions in the flow of the story, it might not feel fluent and you might get a bit confused at times. What is nice to see is that there is a nice link between the two opposite environments. For instance, certain loud sounds can teleport Billy right back into action, increasing his senses immediately.

Next to the all-known Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund, there is also some new blood in the movie namely the protagonist of the story who is portrayed by Joe Alwyn. They were searching for someone who was a clean slate but had the gift to convey emotions and thoughts just by his facial expressions and they sure did find someone suited. The fear, anger or the deeply rooted sadness is tangible just by looking at those eyes and helps to get into the story. The other members of the Bravo Squad are important as well of course, as they play an important role in the inner struggle of our young Billy. Each have their own characteristics and they were able to track down the perfect actors. It is rather strange to see Steve Martin play a serious role, as we all know him from The Pink Panther for instance. He didn’t do a bad job, but you expect humouristic replies or actions while this isn’t the case and makes it feel a bit unnatural.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Even if there aren’t that much action scenes, it is always fun to see how certain things were tackled and that is exactly what you get with the special features section of this Blu-ray. First of all you can see how the cast was selected and what criteria they wanted for Billy while you can also see how certain battles were orchestrated. There is also a part in the movie where the Bravo team has to perform with some famous celebrities during halftime of the football competition and the crew gives some insights on how they filmed this part. Moreover, you can also check some of the deleted scenes and get some general information about the book this movie was based on. Quite some extras that will keep you busy for a bit.

Conclusion

If you want to take a look on how soldiers cope with certain gruesome experiences and how the people react to them, this is a movie to watch. Of course, it is spiced up by some fragments of the war zone but the more psychological aspect is more important. Quite a heavy movie which might get a bit confusing at times but good to watch if you’re in the mood.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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