Home of the Brave (2006) or When a movie really fails

Home of the Brave is about a group of soldiers who came under heavy attack shortly before being sent home. After their return they try to cope with what they have been through. They all fail to some extent before they realise they need psychological help.

What a bad, bad, bad movie! I´m embarrassed I watched it. Worst acting ever. Ridiculous dialogue, dragging storyline, wrong cast, pathetic music…

And yet, there are a lot of people who like this movie and say: that´s exactly how it was.

I don´t doubt for one sec, that this is how it was. I don´t doubt for one sec that the returning soldiers need medication, treatment, can´t make their relatives understand, despair, start to drink, get violent, blame everyone including themselves and the government.

Fine. But DO NOT show a message like this in such a way. After a while you start to wonder, why there is not a constant voice in the off telling you: ha…that was impressive, ha…see how horrible, ha….start to blame the government and now ha….

This doesn´t work. It´s like someone telling you a joke and immediately explaining you afterwards why it was funny.

The opening is quite similar to many other opening scenes of movies located in Iraq, be it Battle for Haditha, Stop-Loss or any other. But the similarity is a purely exterior one. The acting is too bad to actually induce feeling. The convoy gets ambushed, people die and get mutilated. And all this happens after we have been told that exactly these people are about to go back home. This is repeated so many times that the thickest moviegoer starts to scratch his head thinking: Are they telling me something here? Fate playing tricks is an old theme in war movies, after all it´s one of life´s themes, but usually it is handled with more subtlety.

Next thing, they are all back home. One has lost his best friend, one (a doctor) had to amputate many limbs, one had her hand amputated and now they start to struggle and stumble and fail like the movie.

Sad. They meant well. They wanted to tell us: This should not happen. America shouldn´t meddle. This is not WWII. We won´t get statues and memorials and see people with tears in their eyes still thanking us years later. No, they hate us, they want us out and if we don´t get it, they shoot us up.

A few final words on the actors.

Jessica Biel: Very bad start but then okish.

Samuel L. Jackson: He can’t really be very bad, can he? No, unless he unconvincingly tries to play a drunk. But he has his moments still.

Brian Presley: Who´s that geek? He´d be good in a movie like My Beautiful Laundrette. But only for the looks. Talentwise it´s rather… well…any bad series. Whatever.

Chad Michael Murray: How to get shot and look ridiculous at it. He should keep on making series like  One Tree Hill (not that I´d watch that) or movies like Cinderella Story.

50Cent:  Mumble, mumble, mumble or How do I act without having the tiniest facial muscle move.

Christina Ricci: What the heck were you thinking accepting this role?

The only good thing was the movie´s attempt at showing that medication is no solution to trauma and consequential sleeplessness. It´s in the end no better than drinking. You can´t ignore the trauma, you can´t block it, you have to accept it and  talk about it.