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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Film Review – ‘I Declare War’ in Select Theaters 8/30!
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By Garon Cockrell
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Aug. 25, 2013 12:01 a.m.

By Adam Ruhl<>
 
I Declare War, the audience darling of Fantastic Fest 2012
is rolling into select theaters on August 30th. It’s a small independent
film from Canada featuring an unknown all-child cast and it’s hard to relay
just how unique, honest, and entertaining this movie is by simply describing it.
There aren’t any big effects or a franchise tie-in to act as a draw, however ‘War’
is a stunningly creative work that brings a kids’ game to life. It breaks with
many kids’ movies in depicting the children as real people and not broad,
patronizing clichés. <>
I Declare War follows a dozen children while they play
capture the flag in the woods. As we follow the kids through this game of ‘War’,
their imaginations spring to life on the screen. Sticks and logs become AK-47’s
and Bazooka’s (the children were allowed to fire these weapons on set), and
water balloons become grenades. If you ever played ‘War’ as a kid there’s a
huge nostalgia factor in this film. There’s also plenty of real ‘Lord of the
Flies’ style mayhem as the kids abuse and mildly torture each other. Whether or
not the game is about to go too far culminates in a number of very tense
moments. <>
What makes the film really stand out from its simple concept
is the combination of a script that creates complex characters and screen direction
that pulls some great performances from a group of largely inexperienced child
actors. The characters are treated with respect and each has their own needs,
goals, and point of view. The children wrestle with adult situations and
emotions they don’t fully understand yet. There is an astounding amount of
envy, wrath, deception, pride, and gullibility throughout the film’s 94 minutes.
It’s fascinating to watch these life-shaping experiences during what adults
might dismiss as ‘kids at play’.<>
I Declare War is also available on VOD but is worth seeing
on the big screen with a lively audience, preferably at an Alamo Drafthouse (if
one is nearby). I Declare War is released by their distribution wing Drafthouse
Films. <>
I was not able to find an MPAA rating for the film but I would
judge it to be at PG-13 level - with a lot of strong language and some simulated
war violence. Parents may find some of the content objectionable so discretion is
advised.<>

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