Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie Review: The Home of the Brave

The Home of the Brave was, in effect, four different films since it follows four different characters who finish a tour in Iraq and then return home. Lucius Jackson (aka 50 Cent, 49.5 more cents than I would pay for a complete collection of his ‘music’) plays the oldest of Hollywood clich├ęs, the stressed-out vet who can’t adjust and winds up coming up second best in a shootout with a SWAT team.

Samuel L. Jackson plays a doctor who comes home to find that his marriage is a bit shaky and his teenage son is completely out of control with some serious anger issues. The family manages to patch things up. Jessica Biel plays a schoolteacher who has lost an arm to an IED explosion. Her marriage breaks up but eventually, she hooks up with Mr. Right. (Editorial comment: A woman who looks like Jessica Biel losing an arm, though tragic, is not a complete dealbreaker.) I point out that this is a case of art imitating life. The Armed Forces have made an extraordinary effort, first in saving the lives of soldiers who, in earlier conflicts, would have died rather than suffering an amputation. Secondly, it is extraordinary what modern prostheses can accomplish. The fourth storyline concerns a young soldier who completes his tour, goes home, takes a look at civilian life, and re-enlists. Again, I think that’s life imitating art. A very high percentage of our troops serving overseas have done second, third, fourth and even fifth tours.

Bottom line on the four storylines: one thumb down, one so-so and two two-thumbs-up.

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