A Sad and Stressful True Story That Delivers
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 43m
Director(s): Abi Damaris Corbin
Writer(s): Abi Damaris Corbin, Kwame Kwei-Armah
Cast: John Boyega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, Selenis Leyva
Where To Watch: In theaters Friday, August 26
A story that felt all too real because it partially is. The system is meant to help, failing people who give their all and pushing them to the breaking point. This was a nail-biter of a film to watch, not because of what happens on screen but because of the uncertainty of what could happen. Sometimes the truth is more than any fictional story ever could be. More than anything, this film is a story for the “voiceless.” Director Abi Damaris Corbin mentions, “Beyond the Veteran’s community, Brian’s story touches on a soul level – anyone who has felt like their actions mean nothing, that they’re worth nothing, will empathize and find courage.”
John Boyega (STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING) gives a heartwrenching performance as real-life Lance Corporal Brian Brown-Easley, showing a small moment in his life when the system he swore to protect failed him. This was heartbreaking in every way, knowing that this wasn’t a story created by someone but inspired by the actual events of Brown-Easley’s life.
This film marks the final appearance of Michael Kenneth Williams (12 YEAR’S A SLAVE, THE WIRE) before his untimely death. The passion that Williams exudes on screen was one of the most memorable aspects of his acting, and this was no exception. Anytime Williams was on screen, you could feel everything he was feeling and experiencing.
Even writing this review gets me in the heart as I know all too well how much this country falls into ‘performative patriotism,’ as one of the producers mentioned. It’s an unfortunate truth; we as a country will wave a flag, attend parades, and enjoy our holidays, yet we too often look the other way regarding the changes needed.
While the United States Department of Veterans Affairs sounds like a good idea, it often becomes embroiled in red tape and the bureaucracy of other government agencies. They are putting other things above the needs of those who serve the country and risk their lives daily.
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