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This Tom Sizemore WWII picture is no Private Ryan, but it's still more engaging than it has any right to be....
Sony / 100 Minutes / 2102 / Rated R / Street Date: February 26, 2013
For a fleeting instant, Company of Heroes is completely irresistible as a loud and rowdy war epic. It’s late 1944, and our soldiers are still fighting against Hitler and his tyrannical regime. Everything seems like its winding down and peace is finally around the corner, but that doesn’t mean that the dudes at the center of Company of Heroes aren’t completely at attention when they get an assignment to further battle their sworn enemies.
Led by a hoarse commanding officer (Neal McDonough), our guys (Tom Sizemore and Chad Michael Collins among them) go about their business, but soon realize that there is much more to their seemingly paint-by-numbers expedition than they originally thought. It turns out that Hitler’s thugs have designed a weapon that has the power to literally stop the world: if this sucker were to actually be detonated, mankind’s very existence would be in danger.
Not being a gamer, I didn’t realize that Company of Heroes was actually based on a wildly successful strategy game, yet after learning this, the movie’s tone and feel makes a little more sense. Dramatically, it hits its beats appropriately, but there’s never a fully-formed sense of emotional truth to any of the major players in the movie – it’s pretty much all about getting the bad guy (sounds like a video game to me). Company of Heroes is a thin endeavor as a wartime saga, but as a one-off experience, it connects the dots pretty darned well.