A haunted Afghanistan war veteran attempts to come to terms with his past while searching for his family in a post-apocalyptic America.
|Release Date||:||December 2, 2016|
|Production Company||:||Mpower Pictures, Krannel Pictures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Dito Montiel, Jean-Paul Chreky|
|Writers||:||Adam Simon, Adam Simon, Dito Montiel|
|Casts||:||Shia LaBeouf, Kate Mara, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman, Clifton Collins, Jr., Jose Pablo Cantillo, Justin Smith|
|Plot Keywords||:||dream, illusion, delusion, apocalypse, alternate reality, post war, post apocalypse|
'MAN DOWN': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A military drama about a soldier returning from war in Afghanistan, after experiencing a horrendous tragedy there, to find even more trauma at home. The film reteams star Shia LaBeouf with director Dito Montiel; the two first worked together on the 2006 critically acclaimed drama 'A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS'. Montiel co- wrote it, with Adam G. Simon, and actors Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Clifton Collins Jr. all costar in the movie. It received only a limited theatrical release at the Box Office, and it's gotten mostly negative reviews from critics. I respect it a lot more than most critics do.
Gabriel Drummer (LaBeouf) is a marine who recently experienced a horrendous tragedy, while at war in Afghanistan. He, and his best friend Devin (Courtney), return from battle to find their hometown in ruins. Devin helps Drummer desperately search for his wife (Mara) and child (Charlie Shotwell). At the same time we also see Drummer interviewed by a military Captain (Oldman) about his recent traumatic experiences at war.
Right from the beginning of the movie I knew things were not as they seemed. There is a twist in the third act of the film, and it's one I definitely saw coming (at least part of it). This predictability is the weakest part of the movie, and I can understand why some critics would rate it lower because of this, but the rest of the film is still pretty good. Especially Shia LaBeouf's performance; it's one of the best of the year! His tremendous acting is definitely the highlight of the movie, but it's also a very emotional (and thoughtful) look at the traumas of war; and it takes a very poignant look at those suffering from PTSD. Montiel isn't a great director, but he definitely has some very noticeable strengths. I think this movie deserves a lot more credit than it's gotten, because of these things.