Sunday, December 25, 2011

War Horse Review - 3 Stars

Based on a children’s book that produced one of Broadway’s most imaginative plays, “War Horse” gives Steven Spielberg the kind of story he loves—a heart tugging tale of boy and his horse and the war that tries to come between them.  Set in North England in the days before World War One, a prideful somewhat drunk Peter Mullan buys an amazing horse bred for racing rather than farm work.  Handsome young Jeremy Irvine bonds with the horse setting up several stirring scenes—including coaxing the animal to plow an impossibly rocky field in order to win a bet and keep the animal.  World War One breaks out, and the kid’s father sells the horse to the British.  They think the cavalry will win the war.  The Germans, however,  have invented something that will change everything—the machine gun.  One stirring scene begins as the British charge an encampment only to ride into the woods and certain death by machine gun.  The horse experiences the horror of war on both sides, and winds up in “No man’s land” tangled in a web of barbed wire.  His plight brings out the best from both sides.  “War Horse” has the feel of the great family movies of yesterday—a lovely holiday present from the great Spielberg.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Heart warming story of a boy and his horse.  Is it entertaining?  A great story.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Good holiday fare.