Friday, September 2, 2011

The Thin Red Line (1998)

A Lackluster Attempt At A Great
And Beautiful WWII Film

- Hollywood is not short on war films these days and I would rank The Thin Red Line (1998) among the worst. Now are there good points to the film? Yes. Cinematography pro John Toll does an incredible job with putting the actual Battle of Guadalcanal on screen with great use of color and camera work. Some of the acting in this film is also pretty good, Jim Caviezel and Elias Koteas are fantastic in the film and Sean Penn and Ben Chaplin give above average performances as well. Nick Nolte however is terrible in this film as he usually is in other films - he has to be one of the most overrated pathetic excuses for an actor ever and gives a performance in The Thin Red Line that does not fail to disappoint.

Now what does this film try to accomplish? Like most war films, it shows the horrors of war – which of course features scenes that are 100% one-sided, showing the American troops as barbaric murderers. Also, it tries to portray dissension in the US armed forces. The problem is that I am not buying it - if one is going to make a war film that includes dissension in the armed forces, do not set it during a time where dissension in the armed forces was BARELY EXISTENT!

Ultimately, The Thin Red Line tries to be a beautiful and inspiring war film but fails miserably. You can tell this by all the many interjections of random sequences featuring clichéd images and sappy dialogue clearly intended to tear up the eye and fluff up the soul. This is the biggest detractor from the film - it is very disorderly and prosaic.

The Thin Red Line is an easily skippable film.

CBC Rating: 4/10

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