John Boorman's 1987 masterpiece "Hope and Glory" was autobiographical gold, a young boy's fevered view of the London Blitz: surviving Nazi bombs was fun, but a family on edge? Yikes.
Now comes the 82-year-old master's long-awaited sequel, "Queen & Country." It's 1952, and 18-year-old Billy Rowan (Callum Turner) is a newly conscripted soldier in a postwar army run by throwback martinets (
The first film's joyous view of British pluck has led to a more quietly breezy send-off to a declining empire, and a generation determined to usher in a less rigid England. There's plenty of funny barracks high jinks regarding arcane rules and a stolen clock, and delightful home scenes surrounding
But the protagonist's falling for a beautiful depressive (
A frisky final scene hints at the future director in Boorman and stirs hope for a dramatization of his early filmmaking days. But if Boorman's camera has run its last reel, as he's indicated with "Queen & Country," this grandmaster has at least left us with the desire for more.
"Queen & Country"
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle's Royal, West L.A.; Laemmle's Playhouse 7, Pasadena; Laemmle's Town Center 5, Encino.