Man Down

Watched: 3 August

While not a complete mess, Dito Montiel’s Man Down is a slightly confusing picture, as for a long while it appears to be an odd, uneasy blend of Afghanistan-set war movie and post-apocalyptic drama. There’s a lot of jumping back and forth in time, and many segments share a similar look and ambience with The Walking Dead and The Road – all washed out colours and rust belt decay. Sadly, the film’s time-shifts are too numerous, given the short running time, and the visual style employed feels very tired as a result of its overuse elsewhere during recent years. Shia LaBoeuf delivers yet another intense, committed performance, and there’s an understated turn – finally! – from Gary Oldman, but ultimately this is a dreary affair and watching it quickly turns into a chore. The underlying points the film is trying to present about PTSD and the treatment of army veterans gets lost in the mire, unfortunately. (**)

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