Movie Review: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The movie “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is without a doubt the most unusual war related movie I have ever seen. Within the first 30 minutes it became pretty obvious that the entire purpose of this film and the reason why it was made was to prove that treating war hero’s like Football stars or like any other celebrity makes absolutely no sense, most especially when they are first returning home from some battle scarring incident and they are still recovering from the mental and physical damage. The question I asked myself within the first 30 minutes of this movie was, “is the obvious point this story is trying to make enough to justify and sustain a two-hour movie?” My conclusion for the most part when the film completed was, that no it was not. Much to my surprise I found a great deal of this film rather boring because most of the story involves a group of soldiers and the main character Billy Lynn, played by newcomer Joe Alwyn getting ready for and attending a halftime ceremony for them during a football game. Another backstory involving a film producer, played by Steve Martin had to do with putting these soldiers in some kind of a movie portraying what they went through in IRAQ and for the most part I thought that this part of the story was unnecessary and could have been something that was added on to make the movie last a full two hours. The director Ang Lee directed this film and from the trailers I have seen and Lee’s involvement, I was expecting a classic war movie, but instead I was overall pretty disappointed.

The acting was good in this film, including Kristen Stewart who played Lynn’s sister and Vin Diesel who plays an army Sargent and squad leader in IRAQ were both very good in their roles, but unfortunately not enough to save this film. The comedy actor Chris Tucker also makes an appearance in this movie as a Hollywood agent trying to negotiate a movie deal for the soldiers. I thought that he seemed to be somewhat miscast in his role and the entire movie idea did not really work, given the subject matter. There are many flashbacks in this movie showing the main battle the soldiers and Billy Lynn were involved in and the movie did a good job showing some of the psychological damage war can do to anyone, including even the insane desire to return to battle after miraculously surviving certain death.

I give this film a very marginal recommendation, mainly because it was way too boring for too high a percentage of time and the point of the story was not compelling enough to warrant a two-hour movie.