Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016) Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016)

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    MA15+: Strong themes, violence and coarse language.

  • The pitch:

    It's not some story; it's our lives.

  • Starring:

    Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Tucker, Steve Martin, Joe Alwyn, Arturo Castro, Mason Lee, Astro, Beau Knapp, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Barney Harris

  • Directed by:

    Ang Lee

  • Running time:

    110 minutes

  • Rated:

    MA15+ (Australia), NR (UK), R (USA)


    People are stabbed, shot (off-camera), shot at, handcuffed, hooded, prodded with a gun, headlocked (till he passes out), grabbed, wrestled, pushed over, beaten, dragged, tackled, throat-grabbed. A family is terrorised by soldiers. A man describes what kinds of injuries certain firearms inflict. People slam their hands on a table, steering wheel, car bonnet. Story told of crashing car then chasing sister's fiance with a tyre iron. Men joke that they enjoy killing people. Doors kicked in. Fireworks and pyrotechnics trigger war flashbacks. A woman says "If anything happens to you I'll kill myself". A man says he's rather cut off his little finger than lose. Blown up by IED, sister in car accident, WMDs, trying to take hostages mentioned. Yelling, arguing. Blood/gore: Bloody leg, clothing, hands, spatter; pooling blood, pink mist. Twice the camera focuses on the eyes of people as they die. Funeral. Man in wheelchair. Hanging sides of meat being carved. Scars.


    Couple have bedroom sex (brief/flashforward). Shirtless men, men in towels (locker room setting), skimpy dancewear (cheerleaders), cleavage, midriffs. An advertisement plays on a jumbotron screen for erectile dysfunction. Men make masturbating gestures. A man makes derogatory comments about homosexuals. Strippers, prostitute, lap dance, still a virgin, conceived in a truck, 72 virgins, getting/got laid, suck my d*ck, steroids, guys blowing each other mentioned.


    Drugs (people share a joint, a man consumes Advil). Alcohol (spirits, beer, wine, cocktails, champagne). Smoking. Getting wasted mentioned.


    F-words, s-words, a-words, p*ssed. Name-calling (motherf*ckers, a-holes, douchebag, delinquent punk, sh*tbag, p*ssy-boy, idiot, broke-d*cks, d*ckwad, arrogant pr*ck, a-wipes, d*ckheads, clowns, etc). Religious references and exclamations (grace of God, shut the hell up, for God's sakes, hell yeah, Jesus Christ, oh God, goddamn, etc).


    Iraq War, US servicemen, reality v perception, Thanksgiving, football, PTSD, death of a friend, grief, desensitization, media, marketing, PR, patriotism, demi-celebrity, victory tours, heroism, loyalty, sacrifice, ignorance, Dallas Cowboys, brother-sister relationships, half-time entertainment, triggers.


    Dead soldier/friend. Cemetery, funeral, Iraq war settings. Engagement breakup mentioned. Fireworks, pyrotechnics, spitting. Donkey, dog. Sides of meat being carved/cooked. Pig on the spit. Plates of roast chicken/turkey etc. Meat eaten. Taxidermy buffalo head on wall. Some Arabic (some translation). Based on the novel by Ang Lee.


    Original, heartfelt, engrossing, realistic, sharp-edged, tactile, gripping, potent, intimate, absorbing, ruminative, ambitious, somber, boisterous. Astonishing/granular/physical/unprecedented/extraordinary/groundbreaking/penetrating/remarkable/stunning/astonishing/crisp/smooth/cutting-edge 3D/4K visuals, strong cast, fine script, inspired/deft/brilliant performances, visceral combat action, rich flashbacks, stays mostly faithful to the novel.


    Uneven, erratic, theatrical, curious, exhausting. Thankless female roles, cornball dialogue, fake southern accents, some cringe-worthy performances, awkward/half-hearted/trope-laden narrative, most audiences won't get to see the film at its high frame rate, the groundbreaking/technologically advanced visuals can be distracting/are mismatched with the storytelling, the film lacks the saitre/humour of the novel.

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