Directed by Angelina Jolie

static1.squarespace.comSo I had EXTREMELY low expectations for this film. Just seemed like too big a piece for Jolie’s very inexperienced chops to handle. Well, imagine my surprise as I write that, for the most part, I think she got it mostly right. It feels a little soulless, and a little too “Hollywood”, but as a WWII Pacific-theater, POW epic, it definitely works. After all, there can only be one “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”. The Irish actor who plays Zamperini will never, in a million years, be mistaken for an Italian-American, but we root for him. However, the movie really belongs to Takamasa Ishihara who plays the prison camp commandant known as The Bird. Alas, like “Imitation Game”, the director gives us another thirty paragraphs for us to read at the end of the film. We don’t need to know every single thing that happened between the end of the film and now. Really. Not the best film ever, but hardly the worst and a decent addition to the WWII canon…or is it genre…or ouvre….nope, I’m going with canon.

Trailer here:

Originally reviewed on 12/25

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