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‘Foxhole’ review: Inspired war movie changes with time

Creative idea that does not always work.

Foxhole is always at odds with its interesting premise. The film takes place over 36 hours over the course of three wars. Using a small cast of actors, writer-director Jack Fessenden visits three situations that address violence, confusion, and camaraderie. The movie plays out like an anthology as each war is a vignette.  The same actors play characters with almost the same names. There are running themes that change with each era, but each part can stand on its own.

The premise will be the deciding factor for many. As well done as the cinematography and writing is at times, Foxhole is very gimmicky. Setting segments during the Civil War, World War I, and in Iraq also ends up pushing story elements to the background. Despite this, there is a lot of good to find in Foxhole. Since each part is era appropriate, the tale being told has to match. There is a lot of crossover, but the differences between each part are well done. The Civil War part sees a heated debate while the Iraq installment is very action intensive. These types of changes prevent the movie from becoming stale.

Still, it is hard not to feel things get a little repetitive – especially during the first two stories which deal with a moral dilemma. This gets cleared up during the final tale, but it also gives Foxhole an uneven feel. Thankfully, the performances are able to paper over some of these flaws. Ultimately, it is the cast that carries the character driven script.

In the end, Foxhole is a better idea in theory than in execution. The overall idea is inspired and there are moments where all three installments come together in a cohesive narrative. It is also interesting to see the changes in each time period.  It is uneven at times, but it is definitely worth checking out.

Foxhole arrives in theaters May 13

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