Battle of the Bulge: Winter War
Battle of the Bulge: Winter War tells the story of the titular 1944 German offensive campaign, following a group of American soldiers as they try to survive on the frontline in Belgium and work to prevent the German forces from making their attack.
For the most part, the individual components of the film are serviceable yet uninspiring. The writing can be a bit dull and clichéd, but it usually works decently at establishing character dynamics and stakes, with some vague lip service paid to social issues such as racism and sexism. The acting across the board tends towards the wooden, but generally does a good job at picking up the slack of the script and moving the story forward.
Where Battle of the Bulge really lets itself down is with its cinematography. Nearly every camera angle works directly against the narrative thread, focusing on precisely the wrong parts of any given scene. This serves to exacerbate the weaker parts of the production and makes it very difficult to follow the plot or form an attachment to any of the characters. Often, the only indicator of the emotional intention of a scene is the soundtrack, which is effective and carries the story more than it probably should. Critically, this cinematography completely demolishes the tension, which is an essential part of a movie based on war. It’s a real shame, because the plot itself had the potential to be exciting and compelling, but the disorienting cinematic language stops the narrative dead in its tracks.
Ultimately, Battle of the Bulge: Winter War is a series of uninspiring parts that come together to make a confusing and unfocused whole. With functional camerawork, this could have been a simply mediocre piece, but, unfortunately, the ineffective cinematography actively conspires against everything else this film sets out to accomplish, making the experience of watching it feel like a war effort.
Battle of the Bulge: Winter War is released digitally on demand on 21st June 2021.
Watch the trailer for Battle of the Bulge: Winter War here: