Review Date: March 14, 2001
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Writer: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard
Producers: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Here's a great looking man, admired widely by both sexes, oozing more of his on-screen persona in this film and then upping the ante with a solid showing as the sniper who may not be the person that everyone believes him to be. Here's a character shown to be human with weaknesses of the heart and the soul. A man caught up in something larger than himself, but able to come to the forefront and do the things which he believes will help his country win. Kudos to Law for holding up his end, Joseph Fiennes for coming through as his nerdy comrade, and the ever-stoic Ed Harris for keeping his eye focused and standing firm as Law's persistent adversary. This is also a film of moments. As you might expect, a film focusing on two snipers is likely to have a few scenes featuring guys staring each other down. And this one does have plenty of those. But because of the strength of its characters, the believability of its surroundings, its sheer grandness and its tight story line, you cannot help but be truly engaged in every second of this film's suspenseful moments. This movie might not have the grand scope of a SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, the deep message of a PLATOON, or the poetry of the depressing THE THIN RED LINE, but it does succeed in telling an interesting story and delivering on various fronts of entertainment as well. There is also a wide richness of detail in the film, a superb score which resonates way past the film's unique credit crawl and some across the board eye-opening cinematography.
This film was a definite treat for me, especially in the year of crapola movies thus far. Here's a picture that gives you lots to look at, lots to pay attention to and lots to care about. And yes, they've even added a small romance angle for the ladies, which thankfully didn't take up much of the film's runtime and is, for the most part, credible and touching. A grand movie filled with suspense, impressive visuals and an absorbing story line!