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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Home of the Brave

50 Cent plays a soldier in Home of the Brave.  Photo couresy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
50 Cent plays a soldier in Home of the Brave. Photo couresy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

50 Cent plays a soldier in Home of the Brave.  Photo couresy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
50 Cent plays a soldier in Home of the Brave. Photo couresy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Irwin Winkler’s Home of the Brave tries to tug at the heart strings but instead yanks them out. The audience is left with a bloody mess and a hole in the chest cavity. Sorry for being so abrasive, but I want it clear from the get-go: I do not like this film.

Home of the Brave is the tale of four soldiers and their lives after they return from a tour in Iraq.

The first 15 minutes or so, the film actually has potential.

A convoy of American soldiers snakes through the street of Al Hayy, Iraq, to deliver medical supplies. Vanessa (Jessica Biel), Will (Samuel L. Jackson) and a group of buddies—Tommy, Jamal and Jordan (Brian Pressley, Curtis Jackson and Chad Michael Murray, respectively) are part of the convoy when it is ambushed by a pack of insurgents.

In the midst of the madness, Vanessa loses her hand in a roadside explosion and Jordan is killed as his friends watch.

This portion of the film is shot effectively and gives a harrowing look into the war in Iraq. It reminded me of Black Hawk Down with that realistic-urban war setting … if only Winkler would had stuck to the “less is more” method he nailed in these first minutes of the film.

For the rest of the movie, the audience gets to hear forced-fed clichés dealing with the different issues of the war.

Then when the soldiers aren’t spouting their home-spun words of uhh … wisdom, they have their “dealing with the travesties of war” moments. But, of course, the revelations are so melodramatic, the point is lost and the audience is just left with an annoyance.

To add to the agony, the actors can’t seem to get into the swing of things. All the performances are on the edge of being wooden, and then there is Curtis Jackson, more know as the rapper 50 Cent. Plainly, he just cannot act. Not to bash the guy, but his acting experiment failed horribly. But I will give him this, he wasn’t working with the greatest of scripts.

The most enjoyable moments of the flick involves Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow) in her glorified cameo. Well this and the random scene where a drunk Samuel “Mr. Cool” Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Black Snake Moan) picks up three yard workers on his way to Thanksgiving dinner, but then the scene is ruined by those darn clichés and his ripping out his son’s lip ring.

In the end, the movie had a good idea at one time. And I have to give it to Winkler. He tries to tackle issues about our current war but falls into the old traps where every other bad movie lies.

I really wished he had stayed with the feeling and direction (minus a few slo-mo moments) of the beginning.

I give Home of the Brave one and half stars out of five.

I strongly suggest avoiding this movie. It opens in limited release May 11. Go see anything else in theaters.

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