fatpie42’s review published on Letterboxd:
Best thing: Spectacular and constantly exciting. Saving Private Ryan struggled to keep the pace up the way this does. In 1917 the tension is constant and unrelenting, but also consistently exciting. (Imagine if you put Jason Statham in a First World War movie.)
Worst thing: Perhaps it's because I'm familiar with him for his tv work in Game of Thrones and The Bodyguard, but I could hear Richard Madden's northern accent coming through.
A common refrain seems to be that this movie resembles a videogame. I think this may actually make this film least palatable for those who play games like Call of Duty. For those of us mostly unfamiliar with these games, we don't spend these scenes fidgeting in our scenes with the pavlovian expectation that it will soon be our turn to take the controls.
Why do game levels and cutscenes look like this? Because they are theatrical and exciting. Seems to me that if this were actually called Call of Duty: The Movie (which would actually be quite a fitting title) then these criticisms would seem particularly unwarranted.
I never saw the resemblance to a videogame as a failing when I was watching Hardcore Henry and so with an added exciting plot and solid character building in 1917 then, were it called Call of Duty, this would be by far the best videogame movie (or even videogame inspired movie) of all time - by a mile.
As it is 1917 uses some neat camers techniques and produces a war film that keeps up the same tension that Saving Private Ryan could only really manage for the first 15 minutes.
As the camera explores the landscape I was struck by often we encounter rotting dead bodies. There are explosions, plane fights, ricocheting bullets, at least one burning building and all of it looks totally real, so the effects work deserves real credit.
Also, as a side note, I had no idea that Edward Lear's The Jumblies was even that old. I loved his Book of Nonsense when I was little.
An absolutely superb war film. Loved it.