Friday, December 23, 2011
After his father (Peter Mullan, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1) overpays for a horse at auction, Albert (newcomer Jeremy Irvine) gets to train the horse. Albert names it Joey, and he must train him to till their fields, since his family is now in debt to their landlord since they spent so much on the horse. Joey will not be tamed easily, but Albert gives him love and respect, and soon the fields are ready for planting. After an ugly storm, however, their crops are ruined; in addition, World War I is upon England. Albert's father sells the horse to the English army, amidst Albert's protests, so that they will not be homeless, and the officer who will take Albert as his own horse (Tom Hiddleston, Thor) promises to take good care of him.
As these things usually go, Joey ends up with a myriad of different owners throughout "his time" in the war, including a little girl and her grandfather, the Germans, and many other armies. When Albert is old enough, though, he joins the army, and he hopes to maybe find Joey again some day.
Yes, see this film. My only complaints about the film are that it was a little slow, and also long - it clocks in at about 2 hours and 25 minutes - but at the same time, I could not think of any scenes that should have been cut. Some of the battle scenes will have you agog at the screen, and this is not your typical Disney movie: there is some violence in it and it's rated PG-13 for this reason (there's no swearing or anything else "bad" in it, really). The relationship that Joey and Albert have is sweet, and Joey is a good horse, which is probably why Albert loves him so much. There are a few scenes that might be a little unrealistic in a "real war," but since this is a film, we can overlook, and War Horse will be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good story.
War Horse is out in theaters December 25th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of approximately 146 minutes.
*Author's note: I saw this film at a screening on 11/10; what I saw may or may not be the final version.