5/10
Too much and not enough
13 January 2009
I'll keep this simple -- this movie could have been great, but it wanted to be too much. It wanted to be epic, it wanted to be about friends and it wanted to be an anti-war movie and on top of that, it wanted to be about WWII and the underground work. I wanted to like this movie and while it's not impossible to watch, it is slow and plodding some times. This is a movie that really could have hit the audience hard, but it just kind of laid there instead.

We go through a long, long development of the relationship between the two main characters Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend. This could have been story enough, but no, we have to follow them over a 10 or 15 year period and go all the way through WWII. Early on, we are introduced to Penelope Cruz who is a good friend to Theron's character. And from this we kind of slip into a pseudo-three-way that never fully develops. Then there is the Spanish Civil War that Cruz's character feels she must partake in as well as Townsend. Again, this could have been an interesting story all on its own. Finally, we get into WWII and it drags on and on and I started to lose interest in the characters and the story.

It's all just too much of a BIG story and, at the same time, not enough of a story to really hold our interest. The actors were okay, though sometimes I felt like Theron was just reading her lines. Townsend, for the most part fits the role, but other times he comes across as too modern for the time period.

There are a few twists and turns here that keep the viewer interested, but overall, its not as good as it could have been. A shorter version, about one of the many story lines could make this a really, really good film.
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