Movie Review: ‘71

If you can, picture Black Hawk Down or that patriotic sniper movie, but just imagine white people who say “lad” a lot rather than brown people who say “Allahu Akbar” and you get the idea. I’m not exactly sure when this movie was supposed to take place, so I thought a long time about it and I think maybe the seventies because that’s when a lot of Irish people were running around yelling and blowing up things and also some people had big bushy mustaches like porn stars of that era that I used to watch on grainy VHS tapes, which you really only see nowadays in Bushwick.

It’s interesting to think that none of this movie would have happened if this guy just looked at Google Maps, so that was another clue that it was a “historical” film. Funny how tons of movies just wouldn’t have happened if the characters had cell phones, because no real problems would ever happen and no one would really ask each other about stuff because they’d always just reply “hold on…I’ll look it up.” It would just be too boring to even bother making a movie about. Think about that for a minute…

Anyway, so this British soldier ends up in, like, ground zero for people who really can’t agree on the right way to like Jesus or which flag looks nicer to hang up, so they’re really angry. On the one hand they like sitting in a pub and enjoying a Guinness and on the other hand they like to blow that pub up and watch body parts fly out of it and listen to weeping mothers after it all. So this soldier is not in a good place. He doesn’t seem to care about any of that, and yet some people really just want to see this guy dead.

So here’s the rub…since everyone looks the same and are playing multiple sides in this situation for various reasons, no one can be trusted. Sometimes the guys who like the same flag are even killing each other. Or hanging out and chit-chatting with the guys who go to the wrong kind of church. The soldier couldn’t just say “uh oh…a brown person” like the Black Hawk Down guy. This is where having one of those car maps would be good. He just needed to get the hell out of there.

The set was really cool. It was all burned out cars and busted up pubs and smoldering fires an darkness, which would be a really awesome theme for a pub I would open. You’d order a hard cider and then you’d wonder if your arm would soon be lying detached on the street. That would be authentic…not like these pretend hipster bars.

The music was pretty good…there were similar synth lines running throughout with a very bassy pulse to them, like a heart beating waiting to be suddenly torn full of bullets. It was irritating because every time that started up my wife yelled “Turn it down!” from the other room so then I’d yell back “But then I can’t understand these micks when they talk!” at the wall. That happened several times. Our house isn’t that big. I can’t just up and carry the TV out to the garage. It’s one of those old ones that weighs like a thousand pounds.

So the moral of the story is really that no matter how you worship God or what flag you salute, you are gonna have to deal with jerks everywhere who disagree with you and sometimes so much so that they’d like to see you dead, even if you’re just a guy trying to get by in life without being bothered by such things.


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