This gritty war drama, set in a Nazi prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II, stars Bruce Willis, as William McNamara and as rising star Colin Farrell (Tigerland, American Outlaws), as Tommy Hart. Filmed on location in Prague, Czech Republic, Hart’s War has a solid plot that revolves around basic survival at the camp and an important incident that sets the action in motion.
Marcel Iures (The Peacemaker) plays the antagonist SS Major Wilhelm Visser who runs the camp with a unique style. Terence Howard (Iron Man, Mr. Holland’s Opus) plays Lincoln Scott, an important character during the second half of the film who has several memorable lines of dialogue. Sam Worthington (Avatar) also has a small, but notable role as Corporal B.J. ‘Depot’ Guidry.
Numerous, but simple issues such as the Geneva Convention, racial problems, and deceit have lasting effects on important resolutions. “Lies remind him how far away he is from the real war,” says one prisoner as he presses an officer about the correspondence he’s had with McNamara.
At times the prisoners are their own worst enemies and other times they are unaware of the large scope of secret operation within the compound. Whatever the situation, the plot addresses and explains all elements very well and director Gregory Hoblit (Frequency) does a good job of conveying the action except during a court proceeding when night falls too quickly.
The plot, based on John Katzenback’s novel, reveals intriguing revelations about the three main characters as the action progresses to a satisfying (and surprising) ending. Hart’s War is an engaging war film with a strong, unexpected main plot, which are diluted by the numerous subplots. Based on the John Katzenback novel of the same name, Hart’s War comes recommended with a few reservations (**1/2 out of four stars) and is rated R for language and war violence.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler