(Review originally written at 7 February 2007)

When looking at this movie, it becomes obvious that it didn't had a very high budget. Not only its settings are kept cheap and simple but also the overall style and atmosphere of the movie. Nevertheless the movie is good enough and also serves its purpose well enough.

In my opinion it's always interesting to watch a movie about WW I, since it's a subject that doesn't get much lighted in movies too often. It usually are small European productions like this one that handle the subject. It in my opinion makes WW I an underused part of history in the movie making business.

It's a slowly told movie, set purely in British trench during WW I, in France, in the days before the battle of the Somme. One of the bloodiest battles in human history, with over one million casualties. Because the story is slow and set mainly at one location, it allows the movie to deepen its characters out and allow the actors to do their job and carry the movie.

It's however definitely true that the movie is filled with far too many characters to put in a 100 minutes short movie. I'm sure the story and all of its characters would had worked out fine in a mini-series but it's a bit too much to put in a movie. It has as a result that none of the characters ever get really interesting- or fleshed out good enough to care about them. It makes the movie emotionally flat and even also quite boring at certain points, also since not really that much interesting is happening in the movie.

The dialog and situations are also far too cliché to consider them good or original. The movie offers very little surprises and it makes "The Trench" perhaps a bit of an obsolete movie to watch.

The actors still do their very best to carry the movie to an higher level. Daniel Craig is really superb in his role and he provides the movie still with some much needed emotions. It was also fun to see Cillian Murphy in a small and early role. Obviously too small to really make a lasting impression though.

And than about the end battle. Well, when looking at this movie you should know better than to expect a big spectacular ending. If you already watched the first 90 minutes of this movie, you just know you're plain wrong to expect suddenly something big and spectacular. So in my opinion the ending just felt right and it was suiting with the rest of the movie. But obviously, it doesn't do much justice to the real battle of the Somme that was one of the biggest of WW I and also one of the bloodiest in human history. This obviously really doesn't show on screen however.

Good enough to kill some time with. Just don't expect anything spectacular or emotionally powerful.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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