At first glance I thought that War Blade was going to be an interesting and intriguing prospect. In some ways it was, in some ways it wasn’t. In short, the outline is an agent has to rescue a French resistance fighter from a hidden Nazi bunker. Sounds like it could be interesting, could be exciting. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t all it could be. The biggest disappointment was that the mistakes that were made could have been easily corrected and you would have had an interesting and intriguing film.
War Blade starts off in a suitably engrossing way. A dirty and dishevelled nurse walks out of a copse across a field. She is spotted by a couple of people who shout for her to stop. She stops and raises her hands and a group of resistance fighters run out to cover her. The leader walks up and the nurse holds a reel of film in one hand and an initialled handkerchief in the other. The leader asks who she is and we go to the opening credits. So far, so fascinating.
Go Over To France
After the opening titles we meet an officer and his poorly wife. We can tell she is poorly because she is lying on a bed, fully dressed, in the middle of the day…that’s what tropes are for! But then things start to fall apart. Admittedly it is only little niggly things which a lot of people either wouldn’t notice or bother about. A poorly turned out officer; a jacket that needed pressing and black buttons rather than brass. A senior officer not knowing the difference between cache and cachet.
All this takes place in the most starkly barren office I’ve seen. I know when there are nit picky people like me you either have to pare your mise en scène back to the bone or spend fortunes on period accurate ornaments. There are other errors but it seems mean to wang on about them all. Mind you, they should have got the swastika at the right angle on the Nazi flag! There are other little mistakes dotted throughout but I’m going to stop going on about them before it seems like I’m trying to get a job as some sort of cinematic proof reader!
Make A Nuisance Of Yourself
Mind you, if there is such a position going, drop me a line! Anyhow, are there any positives? Oh yes! As I said earlier, the mistakes are just minor niggles and more rational people will just ignore them. The performances are excellent. I might quibble that one actor is too old while another’s hair is too long but, as far as acting is concerned, everybody holds their own.
Writer/director Nicholas Winter has a fair body of work behind in both of those roles. I have to admit that I haven’t seen any of his previous projects so I can’t tell is he is improving or not but he is either naturally good or War Blade is his best yet! I also had a quick look on IMDb and can’t see a cinematographer credit so I’m wondering if Mr Winter took that job on too. So, given his performance here, I will be looking out for past and future efforts of his.
War Blade is released on digital on 15th January 2024.
Movie Grade: B
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!