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Review: Inspirational drama ‘Bennett’s War’ gets an Army vet back on his motorcycle

Michael Roark and Allison Paige in “Bennett’s War.”
Michael Roark and Allison Paige in “Bennett’s War.”
(ESX Entertainment)

In the blandly generic inspirational drama that is “Bennett’s War,” a wounded U.S. soldier in the Army Motorcycle Unit is sent home from Afghanistan, informed by his doctor that he’ll never be able to ride his beloved bike again.

You don’t need the relentlessly thumping score to realize that’s just not an option.

Returning to his rural California family farmstead, new dad Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark), is initially prepared to face the limitations of a leg badly mangled by an IED, with the support of his wife, Sophie (Allison Paige in the thankless lone female role), and his motocross mentor, Cyrus (Afshar Ali).

But then his old man, Cal (Trace Adkins), reveals he’s behind in his mortgage payments, and before you can say foreclosure, Marshall has dusted off the old bike and hobbles off to San Bernardino’s Glen Helen Raceway in a bid to make the ultimate comeback.

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Written and directed by Alex Ranarivelo (“American Wrestler: The Wizard”) with strokes so rudimentary they might have been scrawled in crayon by Marshall’s toddler, the film is content to sluggishly go through its preordained paces without bothering to take any compelling detours.

While country star Adkins lends some welcome Kris Kristofferson-like heft as the gruff but nurturing dad, “Bennett’s War” otherwise proves to be less of a battle than a test of endurance.

‘Bennett’s War’
Rated: PG-13, for some language and brief violence

Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Playing: Starts Aug. 30, AMC Burbank 16, AMC Citywalk Stadium 19, Universal Studios; AMC Santa Monica 7

PG-13 for some language and brief violence


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