There are some directors who make good films for their entire careers. Most of the time filmmakers drop off at a certain point, falling into mediocrity and living off their previous accomplishments until their inevitable demise. I’m beginning to think Steven Spielberg is one such man.
Unlike his contemporary and sometimes collaborator George Lucas, who isn’t really capable of directing a good movie if his life depended on it, Spielberg has made some of the most timeless films in American history. He scared us silly with Jaws and Poltergeist (which was credited to Tobe Hooper but was helmed primarily by Spielberg), he made us think about the horrors of World War II with Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List, and he prophesized a dystopian future with his adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. The list above is just a small sampling of Spielberg’s filmography, which is filled with box office winners and quality films and anybody who watches movies knows who the man is.
Spielberg’s films have a timeless, primal quality to them, touching on the base elements of what it means to be human. He’s able to tap into the consciousness of the human animal and touch us on some level or another – the primary quality behind his films. However, it looks like Spielberg might have lost his touch with War Horse: a film about a horse during the First World War (maybe it’s the Second World War but I’m not entirely sure). What I’m sure about is the schmaltz in this trailer, which makes War Horse look like the silliest thing I’ve encountered in quite a long time.
It looks like the plot involves a horse which is taken from its owner and used for the war effort. He traverses through battles and feels the pain of war, understanding the frailty of humanity and the barbarism of armed conflict. I’m not denying that horses are smart but I seriously doubt they can comprehend the intricacies of war; most likely they’re freaked out by the loud noises and carnage surrounding them. Nonetheless, Spielberg decided to give the horse a personality – as depicted in the trailer at 1:47 when it looks longingly at the camera. In essence, this looks like shit.
However, it’s possible the film can be salvaged by what the trailer depicts as a sexual relationship between War Horse and his owner. The way the protagonist looks at the horse from afar with bated breath and a lustful look in his eyes I’m pretty sure he pursues carnal knowledge with the mammal. If the movie’s good we’ll see a recreation of Two Guys, One Horse.