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Hart's War

Hart's War

This World War II story is told from Lt. Tommy Hart's (Colin Farrell) point of view.  He's the son of a U.S. Senator and has spent his service time away from the front lines.  But, on a routine errand, he's captured by the Germans and after being interrogated, is sent to a POW camp.

Col. William McNamara (Bruce Willis) is the senior American officer and instead of having Hart bunk in the officer's barracks, he assigns the young officer to stay with the enlisted men.

Hart's rank doesn't buy him much respect with the other men, as stories of his privilege background precede him.

Next, two captured black Air Force pilots are assigned to the same barracks as Hart, where they are treated with disdain by most of the men.  Especially racist Staff Sgt. Vic Bedford (Cole Hauser), a guy who trades favors for cigarettes and insults with a smile on his face.

A murder involving an enlisted man is blamed on Lt. Lincoln A. Scott (Terrence Howard - The Best Man) who is accused of the crime.  The first half of the film sets up the court drama which dominates the remainder of the film.

McNamara persuades the gentlemanly commandant, Col. Visser (Marcel lures) to allow the men to conduct a full court martial tribunal, with Hart acting as Scott's defender.  Hart, with only two years of law school is ill prepared for the task of defending Scott, especially with the deck stacked against the black pilot.

At first glance, this appeared to be a war film that would have explicit battles and he-man action, but director Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear and Frequency) keeps the story suspenseful and tense by confining to the prison camp.

The performances are top-notch.  Howard does a solid job as the courageous pilot.  He's also given the best dialogue in the film.  Willis, as usual, effortlessly portrays a man in full control of any situation and Farrell, who seems almost too pretty to be taken seriously, handles his part with confidence.

Hart's War is a well made, old-fashioned story with a good message.

 
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Hart's War
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