Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Defiance

 

Review by Mark Lengieza

I was very excited to see this movie based on seeing the trailer.  It looked like it had it all.  A great, untold story, Daniel Craig (I am becoming more and more fond of his work) and of course, it’s a war movie.  I’m a pretty big fan of war movies, especially ones that try something new.

The premise of Defiance (which is based on a true story) centers on a trio of brothers whose parents were killed by the German Army.  Rather than surrender to the Germans, they decide to hide in the local forests and fend for themselves.  As the film progresses, they take in more and more fellow Jewish people who are also on the run.  They feed them, nurse them, and protect them, while training them to fight for themselves.

This story was very well-told.  However, I do have some problems with it.  I think during the middle the pace dragged a little and some of the scenes could have been removed and the story would not have lost anything.  I also feel that, for a war movie, it was very formulaic, and really just used bits and pieces from other war movies to capture the feel of WWII.

That being said, this is much more a character-driven movie than an “action” movie.  I really felt myself pulling for the characters, really getting behind Craig as the leader.  You definitely get a sense of just how bleak the outlook was for this group of survivors, and that translates into how well the story gripped me.

The film’s flaws did not take away from the story or the message.  The theme of the few binding together and fighting off the mighty has been done before, but it was done very well here.  If you are a fan of war movies, or Daniel Craig, definitely give Deiance a shot.  I don’t think it will change your life, nor is it a film that transcends its genre, but it is very good for what it is, and I was captivated and entertained throughout.

4 / 5 stars

 
 

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