Inspired by director Elliott Hasler’s great-grandfather’s own experiences, ‘WWII: The Long Road Home’, depicts an escaped British POW’s epic battle for survival whilst on the run in war-torn Italy, as his wife and young son anxiously await news in England. Completed when Hasler was just sixteen years old, this impressive debut was shot across five countries and spent three years in production.
What We Thought:
There are two ways you can watch WWII: The Long Road Home. First, you watch it like you would 1917 or Dunkirk, as a big budget war film. Don’t do that because it’s not that. If you watch it expecting a studio film you won’t particularly like it.
How you watch it is with perspective. It’s not from Spielberg or Nolan or Mendes. It’s from a kid. Seriously, a teenager made a full length World War II feature film. Is it great? No. Is it pretty stereotypical and clichéd? Yes. But again, it was made by a teenager. When we were learning to drive and watching Spielberg, Elliot Hasler was out there making a movie based on his great-grandfather’s own experiences in World War II. That alone is impressive and I won’t knock anyone for that.
Not only did Hasler write and direct the film, he stars in it. He plays a British soldier with a wife and kid and like every soldier then, just wants to get home to them. Other soldiers are taken as prisoners of war, but he’s able to get out on the run. It’s a story we’ve seen before, but it’s based on real experiences.
WWII: The Long Road Home suffers from feeling like a lot of other war movies. It doesn’t have the greatest acting in the world nor is the dialogue all that great, but this kid made a World War II film while other kids are talking about the prom and dating. It’s not going to wow anyone, but that will come with time and experience. I’ll keep an eye on him to see what he does in the future. Keep your expectations low and remember not only is it a low budget indie film, but it’s from a kid just getting his foot in the door.
Release Date: March 2, 2021 (VOD, Digital and DVD)
Written/Directed By: Elliott Hasler
Produced By: Simon Hasler
Starring: Elliott Hasler, Matthew Wyn Davies, Pete Walsh
Distributor: Trinity Creative Partnership
Production Company: Relsah Productions
Genre: Action Adventure, War Drama
Rating: NR, TV-14
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16:9