Directed by: Robert Redford.
Starring: Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Derek Luke, Michael Peña.
"Do you want to win the war on terror, yes or no? This is the quintessential yes or no question of our time.....yes, or no?"
Funny how the question on many peoples minds to so many is interrupted in this film by a phone call.
The story follows three intertwining stories over a course of a day, all set off by one where two students at a university who make a bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan and end up being stranded in battle fighting for there lives. We also meet the teacher of these two students, after failing to convert them away from going to war, he tries his best with a potential student of his and the third consists of a Senator speaking to a Journalist about his new plan for the war, which caused the events in the first place. It has been 6 years since an event started the war of terror and we have endured many films about it, some have worked brilliantly, others failed terribly....Lions For Lambs is in the latter. What drew me to the film was certainly the talent behind the film, you have 3 brilliant leading actors with Robert Redford back in the directors chair after 7 years and new coming writer Matthew Michael Carnahan showing a lot of potential after writing 'The Kingdom'....but none of these talents show there stuff. The very big letdown is Matthew Michael Carnahan's incoherent screenplay, even running at a mere 88 minutes, we are given a slow pacing, messy structure and way too many common questions that millions already ask with no answers to make the film engaging, even with some small ideas that are interesting, it really does not work at all and we are left to enduring some terribly dull lectures while shaking our heads at how he forgot to make his paper-thin character more formed. Robert Redford makes the worst comeback behind the camera and let us hope he either improves or stops. Not only do we have a heavy handed handle on the subject matter, but the small action sequences are sloppy and terribly directed. The acting shows nothing more than mediocrity for the most part, Meryl Streep is at her most awkward, droning through her lines with no power, Tom Cruise tries too hard and falls flat and although Robert Redford shows heart with his character, he doesn't show anything else to save the film.
There's a word I'm looking for that somehow sums this film up, I felt that it knew it was dull and messy and the characters on screen really reflected how the audience felt, when they looked at the time a lot and talked a lot about questions being raised with no answers, it all seemed very hypocritical. The most disappointing film of the year.