War Horse is a 146 minute exercise in emotional manipulation, which focuses on a gormless boy who enlists to serve in WWI, when his beloved horse is sold to the army.
Now, I know the novel by Michael Morpurgo is well-loved, and the stage show looks truly amazing, but the film is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Save for a brilliant turn by the, erm, horse (who doesn’t even get a credit on IMDB, by the way), some scenery, some cinematography and a little bit of Tom Hiddlestone and Benedict Humpdeback, War Horse was about as much fun to watch as completing the labours of Hercules. That is, the actual labours of Hercules.
I probably could’ve coped with War Horse, enjoyed it, even if it hadn’t been for the aforementioned gormless boy. Now, because I haven’t read the book, I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be a bit dim, a bit young for his age and just generally not really all there so I’m not going to criticise the young actor, Jeremy Irvine, because I’m not sure if its his fault. The result though, is a painful and cringe-inducing affair.
Now here’s a nice picture of the clever old horse: