The Monuments Men looks to cast different light on the cliched WWII movie genre, can it live up to it’s promising plot line?
If you are anything like me, this trailer may have made you groan at first sight, thinking “Is Hollywood really making another WWII movie?” The genre has been done over and over across all different types of media, a trend that made most of us a little tired of seeing the battles of the Second World War. I’m thankful I watched it, for this trailer gives way to something rather surprising; a part of the war that until recently I was completely unaware of.
Due out Friday, February 14th, The Monuments Men promises a different angle on the WWII film. It aims to tell the story of an actual group, the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, which was tasked with preserving the cultural artifacts stolen during Nazi raids and the architecture that was in danger during the various campaigns.
I, like most guys, love a good war movie. The action, trials by fire, overarching messages of freedom, and the companionship that are usually presented in these types of films always reels me in. Hollywood and various media companies noticed our love for this genre and in a bid to capitalize on it we were awash with works based in this infamous time in history. There is a sad truth in admitting that I fell victim to being tired of seeing movies, books , and video games all about WWII, a truth that I think many American’s would admit as well.
However, I look forward to a movie that wants to take a less traditional approach to the War, one that gives due credit to the vast losses and victories that were not of flesh or land, but of the arts. The Monuments Men looks draw our attention to the great works that were at risk, after all the destruction of culture was a main goal of the Nazi regime throughout the war. We often think of the terrible atrocities of WWII as being done to only men and women, but an unknown number of cultural artifacts were destroyed as well. I look forward to a little known side of the war getting the big screen treatment.
With the main characters supposedly being artists, historians, museum curators, and others of similar fields it will be nice to see a cast that isn’t one perfectly chiseled chin after another. A cast that includes men outside of the stereotypical “gruff but handsome” war hero, the cast includes both Bill Murray and John Goodman as main characters, steers away from the cliche of a group of soldiers we have become accustom to. Plus, Tilda Swinton is a phenomenal actress who brings a certain air of class to anything she appears in.
Its goals are a little lofty, and I’m sure that there will be the moments of classical war zone driven tension and action, but I really want to see The Monuments Men. Hopefully it can live up to the value of the artifacts and of the men and women who braved front lines in order to save, as Tilda Swinton’s character remarks in the trailer, “Peoples’ lives” in a very different but meaningful way.