The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line ★★★½

This great evil, where's it come from? How'd it steal into the world?

How does it have to feel to not make a movie for twenty years, and then you return with something like this? I don't find this a masterpiece, but it's undeniably a good movie. I think what I can praise the most about The Thin Red Line is its use of narration. Something that can often be a mixed bag for various movies, I think it's used incredibly well here, both in its actual placement as well as its delivery. Beyond the at times picturesque cinematography, this is where you can most tell this is adapted from a graphic novel. The whispering of this narration from the various characters makes it feel more like the inner machinations of these soldiers. These moments are so testing, so traumatic, that their greatest observations can only be truly described within their heads. The Thin Red Line, perhaps because of its three hour runtime and an ensemble cast to end all ensemble casts, flows ever so tepidly from being probably the most "peaceful" war film you've seen to taking the occasional moment to spike your blood pressure with tension similar to the infamous D-Day sequence of Saving Private Ryan. (There are two sequences in this that I think nearly reach that level of blunt intensity and unreserved sadness in carnage.) Wresting back and forth on whether or not I would have wanted a definitive main character in this, or with what I love from Dunkirk, if I like that this is more a narrative about the human condition of war and survival itself where it confronts that war is inherently dehumanizing. (If I had to pick a favorite performance from this, and who I think is the closest to having the "most" character, it would be Nick Nolte.) The nature here is as beautiful as can be, and it's then the people who surround it that bring forth that aforementioned great evil, the jungle and hills simply being passive observants to these unforgivable and unforgettable actions. A good movie that I would give a second change to see if I like it as much as everyone else when I think that time's right. Sean Penn's eyes in this are as blue as the ocean.


Noah liked these reviews