Bill Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk disappoints

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Is the actual movie nearly as long as the title itself? Well, a friend and I were about to find out. It was a typical Saturday night at Barton Creek Mall. In addition to my little sister, my two best friends and I were trying to find out if any good movies were showing at the AMC theatre. One of the few options that we hadn’t all seen was the Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Now this was shortly after it had come out and we were guessing the screening room was going to be packed. And then there was Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a movie which looked great in the trailers. Determined to get good seats, two of us chose Billy, while the other two decided to shop. On the bright side, we were the only ones there. Unfortunately, the movie turned out to be not as expected.

 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk introduces newcomer Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn, the main character and war hero, Vin Diesel as Shroom, his deceased friend from the military, and Steve Martin as Norm Oglesby, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner and investor who wants to take part in making a movie about the so called “Bravo squad,” an eight-man unit in the military. Some of the many other supporting roles include Kristen Stewart as Billy’s sister, Garrett Hedlund as Dime, and Chris Tucker as Albert, a producer who wants to make a movie about them.

 

The film is centered around a 19-year-old soldier, along with seven other surviving members of the Bravo Squad unit, getting to take part of a Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving halftime show during their victory tour after being stationed in Iraq. Fox News had captured a glimpse of him in a fight referred to as “The Battle of Al-Ansakar Canal” during the war. Although he lost a fellow soldier and good friend Shroom, he fought hard and was awarded a Silver Star for his actions. Throughout the movie, he recalls multiple flashbacks of his time there, most of them being traumatic. He also reflects on his life in a small Texas town and his family.

 

While this movie is meant to capture a day in a life of a war hero, it just didn’t quite meet my expectations. First of all, the acting just isn’t that convincing. Faizon, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader he develops a connection with, just seems a little bit aloof. The chemistry between Billy and Faizon wasn’t all that real either. I can also tell that her Southern accent is pretty fake.

 

There was also too much dialogue at some parts. In one scene, Cowboys’ owner Norman Oglesby went on a tangent about investing in a movie about the Bravo squad, and I nearly fell asleep. I also expected a little more action and less talking.

 

In addition to this, I find it a little strange that the whole movie is revolved around a halftime show. I certainly have never seen a war movie quite like this, and I’m not sure I like it. But I did like how during the actual halftime show the soldiers were overwhelmed by the lights and noises going off around them. It seemed like something that would actually happen in real life due to the effects that come with returning from war.

 

Another thing that I find to be very interesting about this movie is its cinematography. For the first time ever, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was shot in super high resolution 3-D at 120 frames per second. Allowing the audience to see details that the brain doesn’t usually pick up, this film has a higher resolution and frame rate. On the big screen, everything seemed so much more clear than any movie I had ever seen. The lighting also helps bring the special effects going on in the halftime show to life.

 

Although Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk wasn’t necessarily up my alley, I suggest seeing it if you’d like to watch something unique. It certainly did a decent job of showing the negative effects of war and what people in the military have to deal with on a daily basis. If you’re into war movies, this may be a good one to watch on a Friday night with your friends. Overall, it does a great job of making a statement with its plot, filming, and realistically portraying the lives and thoughts of soldiers.