War Horse **1/2

WAR HORSE

“War Horse” has admiral intentions but I found that it just could not hold my attention all the way to the end.  Maybe it is the story, or the way that it is told.  The production is first rate and Steven Spielberg knows how to make a story like this on a grand scale, but it just didn’t click with me.

I think the problem I had was that I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters.  I found myself losing interest every time the horse would become surrounded by new characters.  I knew that they would not be around for long and that we wouldn’t get to know them very well. 

The majority of the story takes place during World War I.  In the years prior to war breaking out we meet young Albert Narracott.  When his father buys a colt at an auction, Albert devotes his time to training it to plough fields.  Over time they develop a deep friendship.  But then the horse is bought by the army and sent to war. 

From there we get a series of large set pieces that are first rate.  The movie manages to make the time period it takes place in feel authentic and real.  There have not been a lot of modern movies that have taken place during the first World War either so this was refreshing.  I just wish that the characters were better developed.

The real shame for me is that I want more movies that are classically made.  Less emphasis on computer generated effects and more focus on sets, locations, costumes, and special effects.  “War Horse” has that going for it and will probably garner a lot of nominations in the technical categories. 

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