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“Walking with the Enemy” Movie Review

Walking with the EnemyWalking with the Enemy is a film about a Jewish man living in Hungary during World War II. The movie was inspired by true events, and it features many of the hardships the Jewish people had to go through thanks to the Nazis. While the film makes it abundantly clear that atrocities happened regularly during that time, when compared to other films of the same nature it just doesn’t stack up.

The acting in Walking with the Enemy is fairly solid. Jonas Armstrong is more than convincing as Elek Cohen, who’s family is taken by the Nazis. Cohen deals with a great number of issues throughout the film, and while his decisions are sometimes questionable, it’s difficult not to root for his victory. The same can be said about Ben Kingsley’s Regent Horthy, the head political figure in Hungary, as well the many other supporting actors and actresses.

Heart is certainly not an issue with this film, partially due to the subject matter. The problem is that the film seems to get lost throughout the entirety of the second act. There were many times when you’re left questioning where the movie going. Yes, Cohen is freeing Jewish people in Hungary, but to what end? For a movie with a runtime of just over two hours, it’s hard to imagine it couldn’t have been edited down to 90 minutes with much greater impact.

While watching Walking with the Enemy, it felt as though we were seeing the same events unfold over and over again. Time was progressing, and every once in awhile you would see something new crop up, but after a fairly strong start, it just began to drag on. There were also many instances in which guns would fire off randomly, almost as if first-time director, Mark Schmidt, was intentionally trying to get a jump out of the audience. They felt out-of-place and unnecessary.

In addition to the somewhat random gun fire, there were several scene transitions that felt forced. The opening scene, which throws the audience into a battle that takes place near the end of the movie, awkwardly transitions into the title screen and the true beginning of the story. It was an odd way to begin the movie, but it wasn’t the only strange scene transition. There were several more instances when the screen would fade out in odd places.

The heart is there, the acting is on point, the Nazis are convincing, and the Jewish people are expectedly distraught at what’s going on around them. However, despite all of this, the film still comes up short. You truly feel for the people, especially during the credits when the movie provides a bit of actual history for the people depicted in the film. But without the naturally disturbing nature of the real-life events of World War II, there would be very little for this movie to stand on.

Removing about 30 minutes of footage, fixing up the awkward editing, and removing the out of place gun shots would have elevated the film to much greater heights. As it stands, it’s a solid story that’s told in a strange and drawn out manner that takes away from its original intent.

Walking with the Enemy:[usr 2.5]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCaNM3P1t1I

About Walking with the Enemy

Synopsis: A young man, separated from his family in WWII, disguises himself as a Nazi SS Officer and uncovers more than just his family whereabouts.

Director: Mark Schmidt

Writer: Mark Schmidt

Stars: Jonas Armstrong, Ben Kingsley, Hannah Tointon

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 124 Minutes

ben kingsley, hannah tointon, Jonas Armstrong, walking with the enemy

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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