Film Review: The Trench – 6/10

‘Ya got Jocks to the left of you, Micks to the right. That’s all you need to know for now...’

I’m a sucker for anything war-related, particularly if it involves trench warfare. If it also involves Danny Dyer then that’s even better. Well, The Trench finally brings World War One and Danny Dyer together and the results are modestly successful…

On the eve of the Battle of the Somme, a group of British soldiers prepare to go over the top. Hilariously, the two main cast members here are Daniel Craig of James Bond fame and Paul Nicholls of erm… Eastenders fame. The rest of the cast is made up of such luminaries as Ben Whishaw, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Cillian Murphy and the aforementioned Danny Dyer. A real ensemble cast.

Quietly released to a collective shrug in 1999, The Trench captures a number of talented actors just before they became really famous and sticks them all in the trench together. The result is a film that is funny, warm and occasionally poignant. Yes, it looks like a piece of shit, and the single location is slightly restrictive, but once you get past that and focus on the human element of the story there is actually a lot to enjoy here. Craig and Rhind-Tutt are great, and even Nicholls doesn’t disgrace himself, and the cast share a rapport that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

The issue with The Trench is that there are literally dozens of films that have tackled this subject before and tackled it better, but at a skinny 98 minutes, writer William Boyd’s sole directing credit (he’s better known for penning the script to Chaplin) has enough to satisfy fans of the genre.