MIFF 2013 – I Declare War (2012)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2133239/

Directors: Jason Lapeyre, Robert Wilson
Starring: Siam Yu, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend, Aidan Gouveia, Mackenzie Munro, Alex Cardillo, Dyson Fyke, Spencer Howes, Andy Reid, Kolton Stewart, Richard Nguyen, Eric Hanson, Alex Wall

Kid’s war games take a turn for the real where stick guns and paint bomb grenades become real guns and grenades in the imagination of the children involved and the audience see them also. It may be a war, but there are rules involved. When one kid decides to break the rules and starts hurting people for real, things get serious.

Young boys are the most perfect sadists, they have learnt enough to hurt things but do not have the emotional maturity to emphasise with their victims. While the set-up may seem a bit complicated, there are young people who are interested in things like this and they do play war games a lot online these days with many players being early teenagers despite the games being rated MA.

Kind of strange the cops didn’t turn up after the first kid went home bloody after being kicked by the other kids. The parents would have definitely been called in when Kwon gets home with rope burns on his arm and a cut face.

The characters are very interesting and do sort of fit in with stock roles you find in adult war movies. Kwon (Siam Yu) is a prisoner for most of the movie, but is very strong when he needs to be. PK (Gage Munroe) is the leader, but tends to take things a bit too seriously. Skinner (Michael Friend) is the classic mad man in a mad situation and puts things over the top with his reactions.

I did like the other characters also with Jess (Mackenzie Munro) and Wesley (Andy Reid) being the stand outs as their roles are more understated, but played well.

There were a lot of stunts in this movie for such a young cast, I don’t even want to know how hard it would have been to negotiate with the parents to allow their kids to be in the film or dealing with child labour laws with guns firing blanks when adult actors have been killed in similar situations.

I would recommend this movie to people who like interesting stories involving young people and also fans of war dramas who want to see ones that are a bit different.

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