Queen & Country

Queen & Country ★★★★★

This sequel to Hope and Glory 27 years after it was made using some of the same characters slightly grown up (Hope and Glory stops at the end of WWII and this begins in the early 50s), focusing on the young boy who was ten at the end of the first and is now 18. John Boorman does an incredible job of updating the actors including using some of the originals almost 30 years later. But most of the film takes place at the encampment and barracks where young Bill Rohan is conscripted to be trained for the Korean War. Boorman has lost none of his ease at mixing pathos, comic flourishes and compelling drama to combine into his signature charming film style. Always an excellent director of actors he makes fun of the protocols of the military in exceptionally clever ways at the same time that he shows how the homogenizing of the conscripts fosters an atmosphere of love and laughter. Of course, the young men are also trying to meet the young post war women whenever they have time off which proves to be as difficult as figuring out how to get through the labyrinthine demands of the military. But what makes the film a pure joy of an experience is the exceptional performance of Callum Turner as young Bill Rohan, whose innocence and wisdom construct the delightful centrifuge around which the film twirls and spins.

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