It's late in World War II and Lt. Tommy Hart is serving his time in the
Army as an officer's aide far from combat. Hart's father is a Senator
and his father's influence has kept him safe in an office building, tracking
troop movements and running errands. All that changes while giving a Captain
a ride back to his troops. German soldiers intercept Hart's Jeep and,
after a harrowing escape attempt, Hart is captured and marched to a POW
Starring: Colin Farrell, Terrance Howard,
and Bruce Willis
As he arrives at the camp, he meets Col. William McNamara (Bruce Willis),
who is in charge of the officer's barracks. McNamara assigns Hart to bunk
with the enlisted men; telling him there is no room in the officer's barracks
for him. While getting settled in the enlisted barracks, two more officers
arrive -- Lt. Lincoln Scott (Terrence Howard) and Lt. Lamar Archer (Vicellous
Shannon), both members of the Tuskegee Airmen -- and both of them black.
This enflames some of the enlisted men's tempers. Lt. Archer is framed
for attempting to escape and is executed by the camp guards. When Vic
Bedford, the soldier who is suspected of framing the officer, is himself
beaten and killed, Lt. Hart finds himself assigned as the lawyer for the
suspected murderer: Lt. Scott.
War is basically a courtroom drama with a POW camp as a backdrop.
There are undercurrents of patriotism, duty, honor and courage in the
face of the enemy, but they take a backseat to the trial of Lt. Scott.
Although Bruce Willis receives top billing for the movie, his character
is mostly a supporting role.
Colin Farrell turns in an excellent performance as Lt. Tommy Hart. The
script allows him to evolve from a somewhat naive and stubbornly proud
boy to a man willing to fight for what he believes to be just. The best
performance in the film comes from Marcel Iures, who plays Col. Werner
Visser, the German commander of the POW camp. His character is multi-layered
and rich in complexities, all of which come across as real due to Iures'
portrayal. Visser is a man you'd like to have coffee with and probe his
brain, but you'd never want to get on his bad side. That would mean a
certain death sentence. Willis is his usual confident self. His role requires
very little in the way of stretching Willis' acting talents, so it's not
particularly good or bad. His role is simply a lot like many of Willis'
other roles that required him to be firm in the face of an enemy of some
War is no masterpiece and its all too neat-and-tidy ending may
irk those looking for something truly unusual or thought provoking to
come out of the movie's preaching about honor and duty. Still, Hart's
War is a competent and interesting movie that is well-worth the price
of admission. Just don't expect Saving Private Ryan or Black
Hart's War is fought in the courtroom, not the battlefield.
Norton and Tobey McGuire were both in talks for the lead role, but
both eventually dropped out . (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)