Johnny Got His Gun (2008)
Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 11
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 8
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 148
Dalton Trumbo's haunting anti-war drama comes to the screen for the second time in this filmed version of the stage play starring Ben McKenzie. On the last day of World War I, American soldier Joe Bonham is hit by an artillery shell and instantly rendered a quadruple amputee. Later, as Joe regains consciousness in his hospital bed, he realizes to his horror that he has also lost his senses of sight, smell, sound, and speech. Though Joe's capacity for reasoning is in tack and his brain is still
Aug 22, 2008 Wide
Jun 1, 2009
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Unless viewers are aficionados of solo shows and want to see every one they can, this effort comes off as forced, far too self-aware and unfortunately dated.
Staged plays just aren't that cinematic, and even under the capable direction of Rowan Joseph, Mr. McKenzie doesn't provide enough spark to offset the problem.
It's hard not to wish that the novel had instead been newly adapted into a real film by a director with the requisite daring and imagination.
Ably filmed by veteran stage producer-director Rowan Joseph, Bradley Rand Smith's theatrical script provides a bravura thespian workout for Ben McKenzie.
Trumbo's aim was a kind of proletarian poetry, but McKenzie's broad emoting has the deadly earnestness of a school play.
Trumbo's dialogue is as subtle as a bayonet charge and as outdated, while McKenzie, alternately shouty and moany, is not the actor to pull it off.
Johnny Got His Gun won't break any box-office records. But it should find a small but loyal audience.
McKenzie has the perfect boy-next-door looks as well as the physical intensity and ardent naturalism to hold your interest. It's a tour-de-force performance, and Joseph's camerawork is fluid and sensitive.
The story of a wounded soldier during World War I and his hallucinations about life and combat serve as a poignant reminder of our country's current situation, but donā(TM)t do much to elevate it beyond that.
This incarnation of Johnny Got His Gun is a mismatch of medium, text and talent.
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