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This WWII drama definitely covers familiar territory, but it's pretty darned watchable, nevertheless...
Magnolia / 101 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: June 25, 2013
Into the White tells a wartime tale that has been told in multiple fashions over the years, and while its innate dramatic establishment is easy to warm up to, the movie never takes on an organic sensibility of its own. From Hell in the Pacific to The Bridge on the River Kwai, war movies that put soldiers on opposing sides of conflicts in intimate locales with one another address what happens when fighters recognize the humanity inside their aggressions.
Into the White starts in 1940 Norway where a Nazi pilot and his crew crash-land and, after desperately looking for food and shelter, find a mountain cabin where they try to preserve what’s left of them. Not all that long after this, though, two British pilots show up in the same place, and when they see the cabin, they first think that they’ve found an oasis in their wintry hell.
Alas, when they come inside, they’re instantly cited as being prisoners of war by the Germans, but even though the men stay on their respective sides of the cabin, connection is struck among them: they remain enemies, of course, but they learn things about one another and find a lingering compassion growing within themselves that threatens to upend the us vs. them ethic of the war spinning out of control around them.
Florian Lukas and David Kross turn in fine performances as the downed Nazi pilots, and Rupert Grint does his damnedest to shrug off his Ron Weasley past aptly (he really is quite good here), but Into the White never completely utilizes the dramatic potential within its historical setup. It’s the kind of movie that lassos you in – once you make it to the half-hour mark, you’re going to need to see how it ends – but this is a capable yet uneven picture that really could have been excellent.