‘War Horse’ Trailer: Beautiful Visuals, Corny Atmosphere

Published 4 years ago by , Updated October 5th, 2011 at 7:06 pm,

war horse trailer War Horse Trailer: Beautiful Visuals, Corny Atmosphere

Moviegoers will get to choose their flavor of Steven Spielberg cinema this winter, which sees the arrival of his pulpy comic book adaptation, The Adventures of Tintin – and War Horse, a film treatment of author Michael Morpurgo’s acclaimed novel-turned play.

A full-length trailer has been unveiled for War Horse, which is almost the very definition of the term “Oscar bait.” But does the theatrical preview make the film look like a truly stirring and moving period drama that will leave you choked up – or does it come off as the sort of contrived and overly-sentimental artsy project that just makes you roll your eyes instead?

One thing is certain – War Horse will boast some fantastic cinematography – courtesy of multiple Oscar-winner Janusz Kaminski (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan) – and yet another beautiful soundtrack from composer John Williams. Sadly, though, this newest trailer goes overboard on selling the film as a rousing melodrama and will probably leave a lot of viewers unimpressed… even though, for all we know, the final product could end up leaving those same people in tears.

Here is an official synopsis for the production:

DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets–British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter–before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.

Now check out the full-length War Horse trailer (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:

War Horse features an overall great cast that includes people like Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Emily Watson (Angela’s Ashes), David Thewlis (The Lady), Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), David Dencik (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), David Kross (The Reader), and Niels Arestrup (A Prophet). So, on the acting side, you can rest assured that Spielberg’s W.W.I drama will deliver.

There’s also the incredible visuals and camerawork in this War Horse trailer footage – like the tracking shot of Joey galloping across the battle-torn trenches at night – as well as the sample from William’s lovely musical accompaniment to consider. Combine those factors and there should be no doubt: as far as technical proficiency goes, War Horse already looks like a masterpiece.

However, if there’s one criticism that has daunted Spielberg throughout his career, it’s that he tends to be a bit heavy-handed when it comes to sentimentality and emotional atmosphere in his films. Sadly, it seems like there’s reason to be concerned that War Horse will suffer from just that.

War Horse Movie War Horse Trailer: Beautiful Visuals, Corny Atmosphere

Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and Joey in 'War Horse'

On the other hand – sometimes, when a story is exceptionally well-told, it’s easier to tolerate plot contrivances or forgive it for being a bit emotionally-manipulative at times. So perhaps War Horse will ultimately prove to be such an example. We shall see…


War Horse gallops into U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

TAGS: War horse
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  1. Looks like Speilberg is far too heavy handed based on the trailer but then Richard Curtis is also a heavy handed script writer so its bound to be a sappy film.

    However Cumberbatch is such a phenomenal actor that I’ll go see it. If anyone can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse its him.

  2. The story is inherently sentimental and because of that fact the
    sentimentality from a filmmaking stand point should be underplayed.
    Precisely the opposite approach that Spielberg seems to have undertaken.

  3. I couldn’t get through the trailer without laughing uncontrollably. Man the cheese factor is astonishing. Lead role should be played by Kirk Lazarus or Tugg Speedman.

    • I’d like to see how Kirk Lazarus would have played the horse.

      Tugg Speedman could go partially sentimental retard playing the male protagonist.

  4. Early on, when I first heard the title “War Horse” and that Spielberg was directing, I thought, That could be interesting.

    But then I heard more and saw a picture. Any notion that this would be about a guy going into war atop an armored horse was quickly erased.

    I then knew it would be some sappy, sentimental, “tear-jerking,” melodramatic piece of Oscar bait with Spielberg at his maudlin, corny, manipulative best.

    I’ll gladly pass.

  5. I was really interested to see what this looked like, because in the ’70s I worked with an old man who as a boy had tended the horses that drew the caissons in Europe in WWI.

    There’s quite a story in that somewhere. However, this is not the movie for it. The horses used in “Black Stallion” looked beautiful and wild enough to deserve the term “miraculous.” This one just looks like a horse. The trailer should give us a clue why everybody is gazing at it in awe, but I couldn’t watch it to the end – blood sugar got too high.

    (No, I’m not diabetic.)

  6. I think it looks ace and I’m surprised and upset that people label it manipulative or corny. I’m glad Spielberg still makes these kind of movies (he seems like one the few remaining directors able to…). So go see it and then judge. Not every movie has to look like ‘Transformers’, you know…

  7. I agree with Luc Van der Eeken,
    about all the criticisms without seeing the film. What is wrong with a beautiful sentimental film? I have read the book and it is an amazingly dramatic and interesting story.

    Does every film have to have killer robots and overblown car chases?

    I hope this film does make the Oscar list.