Spike Lee is known for showing racism on the streets but now moves to racism on the battlegrounds.
Miracle at St. Anna follows four black soldiers of the all-black 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped near a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of World War II after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.
First of all this film is like no other from Spike Lee. All of his other films have had light and sometimes dramatic tones. This whole film is of a time that wasn’t too happy and features characters that don’t appreciate much in their life now. Not such a very light tone.
I enjoyed how the story evolved starting with a murder and then showing actual man behind the murder in the war. The problem was that at times it seemed very disjointed with its direction. I was happy about Spike Lee and his great passion for this story of the understated Buffalo Soldiers of WWII, but it soon gets washed away by the out of order direction.The film was also in need of a heavy editing job. Many scenes that weren’t needed would’ve been taken out and at times it seemed to long.
Though I’m not centered around the score in many films I just felt I could not get my head around it. I mean for example in Saving Private Ryan all the battle scenes do not feature scores or their battles and it becomes more effective that way.
Lastly my worst thing about the film was that it’s tone was all over the place. It went from dark humor, to drama, to humor, then back to drama. And sadly to say every time they tried, it failed. Despite Lee’s always brilliant scripts this script seemed a little more cliched than effective than a lot of his other films.
The praising of this film is mostly centered around the four leads played by Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, and Omar Benson Miller. Each actor does a brilliant job as their respective character, fully capturing the feel of soldiers who are trapped fighting for a country that doesn’t want them.
Lastly, the final praising of this film is probably the thing that saves it which is the battle scenes and its gritty pictures of 1940’s Italy during the war. I swear to you the final 20 min. of this film are the most heart-drenching in a war film you’ll ever see that you may just start crying. Just Kidding.
Miracle at St. Anna is a strong homage to the Buffalo Soldiers during WWII which is probably one of Lee’s most strong films. But by all means not his best. Still if you love war movies go and see it, but if you don’t care for war movies then don’t bother.
I know I’m gonna catch a lot of heat for this but I have got to give this film a