Sitting on a Pretty Fence
In the heat of the jungle during the Vietnam war Dalton Joiner (Austin Stowell) receives the dreaded letter from his girlfriend Jane (Aimee Teegarden) saying that she is finishing with him. When Dalton and the men receive one week of leave he decides he is going to secretly return to the States to win her back and then head back to the war before anyone realises he has left the country. Whilst he thinks Dalton is being stupid his best friend Mickey (Liam Hemsworth) returns home with him to discover that Jane has joined a hippie anti-war movement and calls herself Juniper. Pretending they have gone AWOL Dalton sets about winning Jane back whilst Mickey falls for Jane's hippie friend Candace. But as their week runs down and their situation becomes more complicated by feelings and relationships they are going to have to make some big decisions.
When I read a brief synopsis I had this picture of "Love and Honor" being a movie in the tradition of a Nicholas Sparks novel with war and romance causing conflict. But what I got was meh, okay meh but still meh which did little to get me hooked in to what was going on or attracted to any of the characters and so on. It's not so much that "Love and Honor" is bad it's that it isn't anything more than average with a reliance on the skills of the lighting crew to create warmth to show of the actors good looks.
Oh yes "Love and Honor" is a movie which trades heavily on looks with Liam Hemsworth giving us not just his looks but also that laid back Mel Gibson style attitude which makes his joking side fun and his character a charmer. The thing is that yes the cast all look good and they have that glow which works perfectly for this type of movie but the characters are surprisingly bland and the sort which before the movie is over you are already struggling to remember their names.
The thing is that "Love and Honor" has some potential and some good parts and this look at the conflict between love and war is full of potential to deliver genuine emotional conflict and soul searching. Trouble it that "Love and Honor" leans more towards a romantic week for Dalton and Mickey, the special times with the girls whilst dodging getting caught than focusing on a man's tug of war between his feeling for his girl and the sense of patriotic duty.
What this all boils down to is that "Love and Honor" could have been a deep and powerful movie about personal conflict and choices during war but instead ends up a pretty romantic movie with only a smattering of real drama and soul searching.