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World War Four

New Zealand 2019
produced by
A.K. Strom for Pacific Features
directed by A.K. Strom
starring Graham Vincent, Morgan Bradley, Campbell Rousselle, Kelvin Taylor, Rosemary Coster, Frederick Dodson, Sean O'Connor, Ryan Poppe, Tom Sutherland, David Tikoduadua, Brian Wolfman, David Lancaster, Derek Good, Daniel Hunt, Timothy Itayi, Ryan Stockert
written by A.K. Strom, music by David Bateman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The border between the Koreas. The Middle East. The Baltic Sea. The world is full of regions where wars and proxy wars are pretty much waiting to happen. And it seems the opposing sides and their allies enjoy nothing more than provoking the other side in a dangerous game of alpha dog, as almost every provocation leads to a counterstrike.

FBI agent Michael Fyfe (Campbell Rousselle) receives info from a mole within the Pentagon (Kelvin Taylor) that all these provocations are actually orchestrated by someone inside the US, but tracking that person's server down proves to be problematic. Fyfe also has to deal with the problem that everyone in the FBI thinks he's on a wild goose chase, so he's on his own chasing who might be responsible for the next world war.

In times of almost-war, Sue (Morgan Bradley) always worries the most as her husband Caleb (Graham Vincent) is the leader of a Navy Seals team, and it's not only the fact that he might not return home alive, it's also that the reports from his deployments aren't always very comforting.

Of course, too many provocations eventually lead to war in the Korean Sea, and it seems the US and their allies are winning, their landing troops have had some early successes, and now an allied fleet is entering the North Korean territorial waters, a fleet so huge that North Korean has nothing to counter it - nothing of course that is but a nuclear bomb. And when the bomb wipes out most of the American and Allied Navy, it's all-out war, and this war will be without a winner ...

 

Now one has to make clear beforehands that this movie is largely put together from footage shot by combat camera crews (who are explicitely thanked in the closing credits) rather than freshly filmed - and for that, much of the film looks very authentic, but at times the battle scenes naturally lack emotional attachment, which is outbalanced by concentrating the whole story about the World War in development on no more than a handful of individuals and how their lives are affected. Now of course, this approach isn't brand-new, and was probably most blatantly applied previously in the 1952 cheapo patriotism-booster Invasion USA, but in stark contrast to hat movie, this one carries a welcome pacifist message in a much more subtle way, making it a pretty good watch, actually.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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