Despite my inexplicable love for horror movies, now that this Halloween season has ended I may just be inclined to give them a break for a couple of weeks. This should provide me with the opportunity to write a deeper and more cohesive review than that of a low-budget violent thriller. This week’s swing-and-a-miss was called “Battleground,” a distinctly uninteresting take on a real-life Rambo. The film focuses on a group of escaping and Guy Ritchie-esque incompetent criminals who stumble into the woods and find themselves at the mercy of an indiscriminately violent and territorial Vietnam veteran. I won’t give anything away, but when city criminals cross with a country sniper in his own stomping grounds, it usually isn’t pretty for the metros.
There was the opportunity for this film to create at least one mildly relatable character. That was, of course, until you realize that even though the criminals aren’t exactly standup members of the community, the main antagonist is somehow still the nameless Veteran. You are left with very few characters save the occasional helpless innocent bystander to relate to.
Now I don’t mind saying that not every movie needs a “good guy.” And I get the point that protagonists are somewhat unrealistic to some in cinema. But to make an effective movie with a bunch of morally ambiguous or self interested characters, the plot must be original, thought provoking, and carry some sort of message. The only message to take from this film was that the Vietnam war created monsters, and this is no longer particularly socially relevant or original.
All things considered, this is another one of those films where the only strong suit is the visual aesthetics. If you like seeing bad things happen to bad people (And I admit, this can be appealing to a great deal of people) this movie could be worth a watch. But if you’re looking for a more coherent message about the horrors of war, or rather, an emotionally troubled Vietnam veteran, you’d like be best off skipping “Battleground” and watching ‘Rambo: First Blood”