copyright © Jedo Dre 2011
II think The Thin Red Line is not as good as it believes itself to be. I feel that it believes it is a war movie to end all war movies. It has a message, action, top actors, orchestral music and more than 2.5 hours worth of screen time. Look at it, sitting all puffed up over there.
And you know what, to some degree, by virtue of it aiming really high and being confident, it does achieve some level of quality.
For one, it looks good. One of the recurring themes of the movie is the glory of nature's world compared to the smallness of men's world and you get to see some pretty scenery in the pacific, sometimes in slow motion...in high def and wide screen.
As already mentioned, it has a good cast too. Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Cusack, Chaplin, Travolta, Cloony. Can't spit without hitting a star. And the stars do what they are good at. No bad performances in this movie that I can think of. In fact, we did not need all these guys to make the movie good. This is where it starts to try too hard.
Unfortunately, in its arrogance it gets a little too far up its own behind and becomes boring and pretentious.
There is a lot poetic prose being narrated by various soldiers during the slower moments. Now, I know there are going to be people out there praising this narration even though I also know they probably do not understand it.
These slower moments of reflection do serve a good cause. They put you into a trance so that when something actually happens, it makes a bigger splash. It is like quieter moments in music to contrast with the louder ones. However, some of them drag on for longer than needed. I found my mind wondering off a few times. And the poetic stuff works sometimes but sometimes comes off as preachy and pretentious.
The Thin Red Line is a movie that tries too hard, but that does not stop it from being good. It is just a shame that you could cut an hour of this movie and it would not lose much. After the movie ended I felt sleepy, and it was not because it drained me with its intense action, I can tell you that for sure.
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