19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks, the film shows what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions.
2-time Academy Award® winner Ang Lee brings his extraordinary vision to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, based on the widely-acclaimed, bestselling novel. The film is told from the view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with fellow soldiers, is hailed as a 'hero' after a harrowing Iraq battle. He'is brought home for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, the film reveals what really happened to the squad - contrasting the realities of the war with America's perceptions. The film also stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel, and Steve Martin.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
When Billy is telling the team members what kind of weapon he carries he describes it as a "standard M-4 semi-automatic assault rifle". The M-4 carbine (depending on the version) fires in semi-auto and burst/full auto. See more »
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Despite Ang Lee's greatest efforts, this film just can't rise above being more than a gimmick.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk gives us the workings of cinema master Ang Lee in this boisterous, ballsy film that wishes it was better than what it is. The film tells the story of a hero solider who returns home to be on display at a Super Bowl Halftime show, as he is about to make his long walk, he is plagued with bouts of PTSD that force him to recount exactly what happened to him. The film's concept is great, there's no denying that. This could have easily been a straight forward drama without all the technicalities that Ang Lee put into it. Yes, 120fps makes it VERY easy to look at but outside of that, the substance to make have some sustainability is just not there.
The film takes us on the journey of Billy Lynn from home, from the battlefield, from the halftime show. While we always know where Billy Lynn is coming from, we don't know where he is going. Lee creates a beautiful image but lacks developing any sort of meaningful relationship with Billy Lynn. Despite a strong performance from newcomer Joe Alwyn along with the rest of the cast, there's nothing really substantial here. The supporting cast featuring Garrett Hedlund, Kristin Stewart and Vin Diesel are all stellar in their own rights but without a well told story backing them up, their efforts feel useless.
Overall, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is beautiful to look at and definitely keeps in line with Ang Lee's Life of Pi more so than with any of his other films but what Life of Pi had in the way of story, this film lacks every step of the way. We know we're supposed to care about these characters, we are just not given a good enough reason to. If you're a fan of Ang Lee or cutting edge cinematography, definitely give this a watch. Outside of those two qualities, it's a film that is hard to recommend.
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