Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a film which comes directed by Ang Lee who many would know as the director who brought us films such as Life Of Pi (2012), Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Hulk (2003). The film stars Joe Alwyn, Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Tucker and Steve Martin. It’s a film about a young man’s experience in the American military during their time in Iraq in the early 2000’s and his experience visiting America after being in a war zone.
This is a pretty good film centred around a soldiers experience during the Iraq war. The film is almost one long moment in time in which Billy and his group of soldiers have come back to the United States after completing and finishing a very difficult mission which resulted in them becoming almost heroes as a result of it. The contrast of the culture change of coming back to their home country and the struggles they had while at war is quite strongly portrayed in this film.
You’ll see that these young men have done some great work, but being at war has in a way damaged them and in my view are possibly suffering from post traumatic stress, which I believe is common in soldiers who have served. However there appears to be almost no help or support for these soldiers and in the film they will interact with a variety of people who thank them for their work, some who don’t like them because of some political view and the capitalists who wish to take advantage of them and make a show out of these men at a football game, in which they appear on stage with Destiny’s Child. There’s also Steve Martin’s character Norm, who wants to make a movie out of the story of their mission and Chris Tucker’s character, Albert who’s trying to get things set up.
The film seems to show a complete disconnect between the world the soldiers were in and the one they were fighting for the whole time and it’s difficult for them to fit back in. The film I think has some political agenda, possibly reflecting the view of the director and that’s okay, I don’t mind that, it’s very common in this types of war films (I’m not sure if I agree with the view and world portrayed here, but I can appreciate it). However, there are quite a lot of films which deal with this topic and I’ve seen them as well. There’s nothing really wrong at all with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. It’s an interesting look at a soldiers perspective of a country which I think comes across as very strong in capitalist ideals in this film and it gives you a lot to think about. I am curious after seeing this film about how American culture and its society will progress in 100 or so years from now, I’m not sure it’s sustainable.
If you’re going in to see Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Walk. Keep in mind that while it is a military film, it’s more of a drama and social commentary film than an action one like say, American Sniper. It’s really very interesting though and I like the way it showed the different cultures of the countries and particularly how maybe it showed not the best side of America, but maybe a side that’s one it does have and it’s interesting to see this on film.
The actors are all great and as a Steve Martin fan I was glad to see him in a film again, he really should make more than he does. Kristen Stewart was also very good and has been doing well lately. Joe Alwyn who is an actor I’m not familiar with at all, did well here in the main role. I also always really enjoy watching Vin Diesel.
There is some talk about it being available in 4k/120fps, however this isn’t something I am able to see in an Australian cinema, those in the US can though. If you do see it in that format, please let me know what you think, I’m curious about that film experience.
Overall this is a pretty solid film about a soldier visiting the country he’s fighting for after being away for a long time. He’s back for a bit to watch a football game, see his family and appear in a half time show, with his troops. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk does make you think quite a bit about American culture and its society and I think for the passionate friends that you may have who love politics or culture, this will really give you something to talk about, at least for a while. It’s worth going to see if you like these types of things and it is at times a powerful film experience.