Movie review: Third 'Saints and Soldiers' film is a riveting war story

Published August 15, 2014 2:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The third installment of director Ryan Little's Utah-made World War II series "Saints and Soldiers," this one called "The Void," is a riveting action drama with a strong message.

In Germany, 1945, during the final days of the Allied victory, a two-tank American crew is sent on a clean-up mission in the Harz mountains — only to discover a platoon of German soldiers and three Panzer tanks have just ambushed a troop transport. The decimated tank crew must team with survivors of the transport, including Sgt. Owens (Danor Gerald), an African-American soldier and former tank commander who has endured prejudice in the segregated Army. Owens clashes with the tank crew's racist Cpl. Simms (Adam Gregory), but they must put aside those differences to stop the Panzers.

Little, who also wrote the screenplay this time, creates a well-paced drama that balances the action with emotional themes of duty and equality. (Despite being a continuation of a franchise considered an early success in Mormon Cinema, the closest thing to a mention of Mormonism here is a soldier who doesn't drink and hails from Pocatello.)

Little's greatest talent is employing Utah locations and restored World War II-era vehicles to create authentic and exciting battle sequences.

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'Saints and Soldiers: The Void'

Opens Friday, Aug. 15, at area theaters; rated PG-13 for war violence and a brief epithet; 107 minutes.