Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Walter Tull was a successful professional football player prior to the First World War, where he was a heroic non-commissioned officer until his death in 1918. The television movie, “Walter’s War” focuses entirely upon Tull’s time in the war, and the 53-minute TV-movie feels incomplete because of these limitations in the screenplay. This wounds the telling of this true story, but it is the cliché racial obstacles within the narrative that deals a fatal blow to the derivative screenplay from actor-turned-writer Kwame Kwei-Armah.
At the beginning of the film we are told about Tull’s endeavors in professional football, including the adversity he was forced to face. This is much the same as his experience as the first mixed-race officer in the British Army, especially when choosing to court a pretty young local blonde girl volunteering. The romantic sub-plot is yet another narrative thread that is left dangling, however, as the storyline has no direction beyond getting our protagonist to the Battle of Somme.
Rushed and unimpressive, there is little room in this brief narrative to allow affections to grow for the characters. O.T. Fagbenle does little to help with this problem, creating a passionless Tull that is hardly an inspiration. All we are left with are endless scenes of cliché racism and predictable outcomes. The DVD bonus features include an hour-long documentary about the Battle of Somme which is far more compelling than this scripted drama.
Entertainment Value: 3.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10
Historical Significance: 2/10
Special Features: 7/10
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