I am not a film critic. I’m just a guy with a Netflix account and a lot of opinions. I also haven’t seen every film and television show about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from start to finish. For example, I only made it about a quarter of the way into Robert Redford’s tedious 2007 Iraq War drama Lions for Lambs before I decided to count my own farts instead. And while I did somehow manage to make it all the way through the first episode of Fox’s short-lived Enlisted, I had already erased every second of it from my memory by the time the credits started rolling.
So long as the acting isn’t terrible, or the plot awful, even a mediocre film set during the Second World War is going to do well with an American audience. We love that shit — dead Nazis, all-American heroes, massive battles, and, most importantly, a major victory for the United States. In the coming months, we’ll see four more additions to this genre: “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Allied,” “Dunkirk,” and “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.”
There’s no shortage of bad leadership in war movies. It’s not even that the leaders are always bad or incompetent, though some are — like Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Hurt Locker,” who seems to have a death wish that he wants to share with his entire team.