The Trench (1999) starring Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Danny Dyer, James D'Arcy, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw directed by William Boyd Movie Review

The Trench (1999)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Daniel Craig in The Trench (1999)

Back to the Trenches

29th June 1916 and young British soldiers are hunkered down in the trench waiting for the big push which has been put off for a day or two. With poor conditions and moral to contend with it is up to tough Sergeant Winter (Daniel Craig) and the posh Lieutenant Hart (Julian Rhind-Tutt) to try and keep the men focused. But as the reality war starts to hit these young men, no more than teenagers, they must deal with their emotions and the not knowing what faces them when they go over the edge.

This is likely to be a very short review as there is not a great deal to be said about "The Trench". But the most important thing I can tell you is that if you are a fan of the classics, the well respected movies about WWI then this isn't for you. Nope this is a World War I movie made for a new generation who don't want to watch old movies but are interested in WWI. In fact at times this feels like a production specifically made to be shown in history lessons for a modern generation, it had that sense of a production made with limited funds on a small set.

Paul Nicholls in The Trench (1999)

As such "The Trench" doesn't tell us anything new as it is another WWI movie which takes us into the trench and tries to show us what it was like for the young, inexperienced teenagers as the reality of war hit home. We get to see how the conditions were not great, how naivety could be dangerous, how boredom was an enemy and how it felt when they realised that they are unlikely to see another day as the attack gets closer. As I said it offers up nothing new but reworks these familiar elements in a solid but not exceptional manner.

But what "The Trench" has going for it is modern appeal with a look which whilst not the grittiest is not so artsy that young audiences would find it tedious. It also has the cast with the combination of Paul Nicholls, Danny Dyer and Daniel Craig all having some appeal for a new generation even if their acting in this is not exceptional. And whilst anachronisms are annoying for those seeking authenticity the frequent swearing will be snappy enough to keep a modern audiences attention whilst probably feeling very out of place for those looking for realism.

What this all boils down to is that "The Trench" is nothing more than an old WWI war movie but reworked with a fresh cast and a more modern look to appeal for a new generation who are yet willing to watch the older and widely respect war movies. It serves it purpose when approached as such and can see how it could impress a young audience but for those who know there movies it is one best avoided.