Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

A Midnight Clear (1992)



Reviews and Comments

A Midnight Clear is the worst kind of bad movie: technically apt and well acted, with all that craft and artistry channelled into a useless, trite endeavor. The stage is set early, as a voice-over narration introduces us to the characters, soldiers on the front lines in Europe during World War II. A quote: "They gained a few miles of European real estate and lost the beginnings to untold generations of very bright people. I think the army considered this a good deal." Admirable manipulation, but spurious logic. The film continues in this vein, trying its darnedest to tell us how bad war is, even if it means exaggerating, outright lying, or employing a ludicrously contrived story. The soldiers are never, for example, portrayed as trained and competent and knowledgeable of military procedure, even though these particular soldiers are said to be the best and brightest: it serves an anti-war agenda better to depict them as unprepared individuals milling about without guidance or direction as they deteriorate into madness.

The irony of it all is that World War II is absolutely the last war to use to stage an anti-war play. What other war in modern history serves as a better argument against pacificism without exception? True, the losses suffered on the front lines in World War II were great, grave, and irreplaceable: but what about the millions of "very bright people" and the ensuing generations lost in Nazi concentration camps -- losses that would have continued unchecked without a war to stop it? A Midnight Clear never even addresses why World War II was fought. It doesn't seem to think it has to; it's too preoccupied trying to tell that war is bad to bother thinking about whether there might be anything worse.