Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (8)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (6)
Sincerity of purpose, the best of intentions and brief appearances by top talent cannot save a real first pancake of a script in SGT. Will Gardner.
The film endlessly traffics in the sort of clichés endemic to the genre, from its gung-ho country music soundtrack to its frequent combat flashbacks illustrating the horrors of war.
[Martini's] filmmaking instincts... prove too self-indulgent and heavy-handed to tell the kind of emotionally involving tale about post-traumatic stress disorder among returning soldiers that he clearly had in mind.
Homelessness among military veterans is a noble subject for a filmmaker to take on. So it deserves a better vehicle than Sgt. Will Gardner, writer-director Max Martini's clumsy and sometimes downright laughable portrayal of an injured Iraq war vet.
Heavy-handed clichés overwhelm the heartfelt intentions of this drama meant to salute veterans battling physical and emotional wounds as they return home.
It's a mess of uncertain purpose, jarring tonal shifts, and melodramatic gimmickry.
Its honesty and introspection, and the urgency of the topic, make it worth a look.
The takeaway message from Sgt. Will Gardner is that American veterans deserve better.
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