Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 112 minutes
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In the tradition of “The Longest Day”, and in the spirit of ensemble epics like “Hell is for Heroes”, Ari Taub’s “The Fallen” doesn’t lie the focus on one particular country or nation, it instead, focuses on a large group of assorted soldiers, all with varying degrees of gray, and explores the inner-turmoil’s, mishaps, and missions of the groups of soldiers fighting World War II. The Italians forced to team with the Germans being deemed as inferior, the Germans whom are witnessing the fall of their empire, and the US just to name a few whom occasionally cross paths and battle with one another. “The Fallen” paired with great direction from Taub, and above par production qualities is a traditional war film in the purest sense with a story that profiles really a large array of soldiers forced to survive in the wilderness of this country and fight for survival.
When you take in to consideration the low budget for this, it’s a rather impressive feat. However inspiring “The Fallen” tries to be, though, it’s an equally disappointing war film that focuses less on war and more on characters, and this would be an interesting formula, had the character been an even a bit compelling. Often times the characters were immensely interchangeable and forgettable and it was almost impossible to connect to either one of them. While “The Fallen” attempts to focus on each and every one of the parties involved, we see less of the Germans whom are depicted in much more of a black and white formula and we just see more of the Americans, and the Italians.
“The Fallen” spends too much time on build-up with these interchangeable characters, and we’re often given these situations that felt meandering from romancing the Italian girl, or the soldiers being taught how to plant mines while the instructor gives them the wrong word. Though, a funny scene, it was still not what I expected to see. It often times wants to take the realism and gung-ho grittiness of “Saving Private Ryan”, but it’s too bogged down in a story that’s not taken seriously enough by its writer, and is sometimes played for comedy. The entire film’s concept is based around the upcoming grand battle that’s bound to take place, but the build up just lacked in many respects. The final battle was just too short, too swift, and too anti-climactic to have an impact. Taub’s film has the right ideas, and the right elements, but it just can’t seem to bring it all together to develop into the type of film it wants to become.
Posted on March 6, 2006 in Reviews by Felix Vasquez Jr.
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