'Queen And Country' Follows A Familiar Protagonist Through A New War

February 19, 2015 10:03 PM

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In John Boorman's first semi-autobiographical film, 1987's Hope and Glory, war came to the school-age protagonist's London. In Queen and Country, set roughly a decade later, the director's alter ego goes to war — except that he doesn't. As the Korean conflict rages, 19-year-old Bill Rohan (Callum Turner) is drafted, trained and sent into service as a typing instructor.

The movies take their titles from expressions of British exceptionalism, but do so ironically. Boorman, who wrote and directed both, is not concerned with duty, heroism and national dignity. The films charmingly — if in this case a bit less distinctively — salute mischief, insubordination and the di...

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