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’71 DVD Review

'71 DVD

“’71” is a frustrating thriller.

The plot: After being deployed to Belfast amidst “The Troubles” in 1971, a British soldier (Gary) is left behind by his unit AND caught behind enemy lines. While trying to run and hide from those out to kill him, Gary has to be careful about who he trusts. As he witnesses horrific events and encounters corrupt officials, surviving becomes easier said than done for Gary.

For a historical based thriller, “’71” is strangely underwhelming. I may be in the minority here given the positive reviews, but from start to finish, the film coasts on setting, atmosphere, and conflict alone. That may be enough for some viewers, but to me, I would have rather seen more character development given that there’s barely enough material to fill a 99 minute runtime. The material that we do get is largely a confusing mixture of fact and fiction that doesn’t blend well together due to an uneven script by Gregory Burke. Still, at least the film is about SOMETHING as opposed to some of these lifeless action thrillers that hit the market these days.

As for the cast, the film is more or less a showcase for rising star Jack O’Connell. The actor (who is perhaps best known for “Unbroken”) continues to shine even with an underdeveloped role. I will certainly be intrigued to see where his career goes from here.


Presentation: 2.40:1. How does it look? The film is nothing if not beautifully shot by DP Tat Radcliffe. It’s just a shame there isn’t a Blu-ray release for the U.S.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The music, dialogue, and sound f/x are effective.

The only extras are a digital copy, Lionsgate trailers, a “’71 trailer,” and a commentary by Yann Demange, Angus Lamont and Gregory Burke.


July 2, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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