I was looking forward to seeing Saving Private Ryan. I had heard many reviews that called it one of the greatest war movies ever made. I was not expecting to see something as poorly put together as this movie was. From the begining I found myself wanting to scream at the screen. I must admit the acting was good, but they had little to work with.
Just about every other aspect of the film fails. It manages to portray D-Day as the smallest battle I’ve ever seen. Basically, the goal was two machine gun posts. Sorry, but that battle was not realistic at all and was intentionally bloodwashed worst than the Friday the 13th movies. The film is loaded with mistakes including the rediculous helmet rank insignia. They knew better because they told someone not to salute Hanks because it might give away his rank. Then they put bars on his helmet! Structurally, the movie was a disaster. It was supposed to be about the irony of many men dying for one man. In the end, though it turns into the defense of a bridge and the main plot is almost totally forgotten. The soldiers are stupid. They have to defend or destroy a bridge, but don’t leave the detonator wired up and someone (who should have been Ryan) to blow it as a last resort? Every war cliche in the book gets dropped into this film. “Save my child”, the wounded soldier just out of reach, the sharpshooter who never misses, “I’m not leaving my buddies”, etc. They are all there. Did they have to end the the waiving of the flag?
The movie does not feel like WWII, but rather feels like Vietnam. Lots of mud and rain, “what are we doing here”, a bungling military command. One of the most successful engagements in military history is portrayed as a confused, poorly planned mess.
The movie is absolutely loaded with red herrings. Hank’s hand problem has no bearing on the plot and is not present when it might cause a problem. They fight a machine-gun nest for no real reason other than it provided a fight scene. Was I the only one to notice that all of the towns were destroyed before we even got to them? Didn’t France surrender? The climactic battle is sure to be lost, but is won when air support arrives. Of course, they did not call for the air support. Can you say “Deus ex machina”? Did we have precision guided tank bombs in WWII? Did our protagonists really have anything to do with the outcome?
I was shocked that this movie was not ripped apart in reviews. It has everything possible wrong with it. Is it now unpatriotic to indicate divel when you see it wrapped with an American flag?