The second of Steven Spielberg’s two features arriving over the Christmas period, War Horse is an adaptation of the phenomenally successful play by Nick Stafford (itself an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel).
When his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry at the outbreak of World War One, Albert (newcomer Jeremy Irvine), too young to enlist, embarks on a treacherous journey to France, braving the trenches on both sides in an effort save his pal.
Spielberg is no stranger to epic depictions of war on screen, and judging from the new trailer below, the trench battle sequences promise to be nothing short of spectacular. Let’s just hope he exercises some restraint when it comes to the sentimentality that has marred much of his recent output, the extraordinary first act of Saving Private Ryan may still stand as the most thrilling portrayal of warfare in cinema, but the rest of the film sinks under the weight of its desire to move, spelling out each and every prescribed emotional beat.
For me, his best war film remains Empire of the Sun and I’ve greater hopes for War Horse than I do for his Tintin film, arriving a month earlier, the trailer for which left me somewhat cold.
Check out the War Horse trailer below and let me know what you think…
War Horse goes on general release on January 12th 2012.