I think I am ready to add another genre of film to stop watching: World War II films.
I am seeing trailers for Tom Hanks’ Greyhound, and while it looks good, my reaction to it is completely ho-hum. That’s because I can’t imagine there being anything about it that I haven’t already seen. I have seen enough battleship movies to last me a lifetime.
I remember thinking the same thing about Fury in 2014, starring Brad Pitt. And I was right. To be clear, I didn’t hate the two hours I spent watching it, but I also could have gone my whole life without seeing it.
I get that WWII was the last “righteous” war (from the Allies’ perspective), and if you’re going to make a war movie that isn’t controversial, that’s the war to do it about. I also get that fascism is a relevant topic again, but a film that portrays battle and ignores politics is not relevant to the topic. The war ended 75 years ago. Everything there is to say on screen about the war has already been said. Almost no one alive today remembers it, so rather than being about our shared remembered history, it is about about legend.
Yes, CGI can portray battleship battles in a way that was not possible before, but if the story is worn out, then who cares?