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Home Movies Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

by Amari
Published: Last Updated on


Community Rating: 72.27% (3)


 

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Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

Despite being a devoted Kristen Stewart fan, I skipped this movie. However, considering the performances, topics, and dialog of this movie, I’ve come to regret that.

Trigger Warning(s): Gun Violence

Noted Actor(s)

Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) | Shroom (Vin Diesel) | Crack (Beau Knapp) | Dime (Garret Hedlund) | Albert (Chris Tucker) | Norm (Steve Martin)

Characters & Storyline

Billy Lynn is touted as a national hero for a day which was perhaps the worse of his life. He may have killed the enemy but he lost Sargent Shroom in the process. The man who gave sage advice, reminded his platoon they were loved before they went into battle, and helped bring some normalcy to their part in the war in Iraq. Yet now he is on a national tour, one in which he is praised for his bravery, and all he can think about is if he wants to go back.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Kristen Stewart’s part in this movie is hardly noteworthy for she is barely in it.

Highlights

The Heart of the Movie

The thing which drives all war movies is the thought of what they are fighting for and who they are fighting with. In this movie, Billy’s fight first comes from trying to avoid jail time but evolves into him trying to keep his new family alive. As Dime tells him, he is one of the mature ones and is needed to get this ragtag bunch in line. Something we see often as one named Crack starts experiencing PTSD symptoms from fireworks and even has an altercation with a civilian. Though, believe it or not, it is Vin Diesel who is the center of anything you may feel in this movie.

To me, that was a shock since the only time Vin Diesel made me feel something, it was because Paul Walker died and you knew those two were close. With his character Shroom, though, you get reminded Diesel is possibly capable of having a serious career if and when he is no longer able to be an action star. For there is something about his one on ones with Billy, him saying “I love you” to each of his men before combat, and seeming sincere, which gets to you. So while Billy is having flashbacks about what happened, then we get the full final moments of Shroom’s life, you may find yourself surprised how Vin Diesel, of all people, is the source of you crying.

A Reminder of What Military Life Is

Wartime movies have almost always been brutal depictions which pushed the idea that there is so much more than a president declaring victory or the withdrawal of troops. This film is no different but with it focusing on young men, all probably barely of age to drink, there is something different here. If only because the army isn’t presented as the usual “I joined to defend my country.”

In the film, that doesn’t really seem to be anyone’s reasoning. What they joined the army for was an opportunity. Be it because where they come from the only jobs are minimum wage, money, they joined for the free training, or to stay out of trouble, their reasoning is what I often here as the reason and has nothing to do with patriotism. But, it also presents the price you pay. You have people, your own family, who don’t support your decision. You have to live with the fact that you killed someone and, as seen in One Day at a Time, have to learn to adjust back to civilian life after dealing with your life constantly on the line. Something which is no easy feat for while, as Dime says, people verbally support the troops, said enthusiasm dries up when it comes to monetary support.

Criticism

The Roadie Fights

Being that the halftime show was poorly planned, often Team Bravo was left in the dark. This includes when the show was over and the roadies, trying to do their job, told the soldiers to leave. This led to one altercation but what got on my nerves is that there were two that followed. Both times, on sight, the roadies came after the soldiers. Which didn’t make sense if only because, they knew these people were legit soldiers and yet you are going to try to go one on one with them? They are trained to kill, just got back from a tour, and you think you can take them on and they may not snap from being put into a life threatening situation?

Selling Their Story

One of the least enjoyable parts of this movie is watching Albert try to sell the story of Team Bravo for a movie and then Norm try to pay them hardly much to get it produced.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

While by no means something worthy of an Oscar nomination, I’m quite confused by this film’s low ratings. The cast has excellent chemistry, the film has heart and depth, and honestly, outside of many of the actors not given the time to significantly stand out, and the selling their story sub-plot, I can’t think of any big time negatives. For while it may not have big time action sequences or be blindly patriotic, it is probably one of the few movies you’ll ever see which is 2 hours and not a torture to sit through.

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