Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
Men are measured by what they say. Heroes, by what they do.
Lieutenant Tommy Hart (Colin Farrell) is a second year law student who is enlisted as an officer's aide in World War II due to his father's political pull. When he is captured and thrown into a German prisoner of war camp, top ranking Colonel William McNamara (Bruce Willis) assigns him to defend Lieutenant Lincoln Scott (Terrence Howard), an African-American POW accused of murdering a fellow white prisoner.
Hart must struggle against his privileged past to prove that he is a true man of honour, worthy of his rank. In preparing a defence for his client, Tommy stumbles upon a plot that will force him to choose between his country, his own morality and his life.
Based partly on the experiences of Nicholas Katzenbach.
Persons of interest
- Colin Farrell .... Lieutenant Tommy Hart
- Bruce Willis .... Colonel William McNamara
- Terrence Howard .... Lieutenant Lincoln Scott
- Vicellous Shannon .... Lamar Archer
- Cole Hauser .... Bedford
- Rick Ravanello .... Major Joe Clary
- Marcel Iures .... Visser
- Sam Worthington .... Depot,
- Maury Sterling .... Gerber
- Michael Weston .... Potts
- Sebastian Tillinger .... Moose
- Sam Jaeger .... Sisk
- Jonathan Brandis .... Waverly
- Tony Devlin .... Private Donny West
- Gary Gold .... McNamara's aide
- René Ifrah .... Krassner
- John Katzenbach .... Author
- Terry George .... Screenwriter
- Billy Ray .... Screenwriter
- Gregory Hoblit .... Director
David Barrass .... Fussel
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Hart's war official movie site
- Hart's war movie trailers:
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Theatrical reportA pretty good prisoner of war movie, a sub-genre that has until now escaped Hollywood's war fever (See also Saving Private Ryan, No man's land, We were soldiers, Black hawk down, Behind enemy lines). On the downside are the trailers that set up Bruce Willis' character (Colonel McNamara) as the bad goodie, thereby providing you with the key to the suspense that builds up through half the picture. Good of you, marketing department.
Apart from that, there is a whole film full of good work by Colin Farrell (see also Tigerland), a young man with a long future ahead of him. It's his character's journey, from pampered son of a Senator to lean, mean son of a bitch that makes Hart's war worth watching. A Hollywood hero, for sure, but one who has to walk through the minefield of wartime alliances without putting a foot wrong.
[Did you like the extended metaphor?]
[Yeah, not bad - Director of Intelligence]
Meanwhile, Bruce is not the right actor to play Colonel "I can compromise my principles if I want to" McNamara, his stiff demeanour and narrow vocal range are wrong for the character, just as with General Deveraux in The siege. There are plenty of character actors without name recognition who would've done the role a lot better.
A big round of applause goes to the special effects people [there were special effects?! - Director of Intelligence] for the aerial battle over the POW train and camp: the best special effects are the ones you never notice (like the apes in 2001: A space odyssey not being given an award for best make-up because the Academy thought that they were real apes, not actors in rubber suits). Another round goes to the presentation of African-Americans, who are rarely featured in films about World War II. In Hart's war they are sub-humans waiting to be shot, with no more sympathy from the side of their own country than from the Nazi master race. What kind of bigotry must a country be capable of to draft people to be soldiers then prevent them from receiving medals, pensions or recognition of any kind once the war was over. Oops, sorry, that's Australia, not the USA.
Hart's war is more war drama than war action but no less entertaining for it. Watch and "enjoy".
Media intelligence (DVD)
- Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Disc: Single side, dual layer
- Languages: Czech, English
- Picture: Widescreen 2.35:1, anamorphic 16:9
- Special features:
- Commentary: cast and crew
- Deleted scenes: with commentary
- Trailers: Trailer
- Subtitles: Czech, Danish, English, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish, English captions
Security censorship classification
MA 15+ (Medium level violence)
120 minutes (2:00 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 30 May 2002
DVD retail: 16 October 2002
DVD rental: 16 October 2002
VHS rental: 16 October 2002