The action drama hit the USA SEMPER FI to mixed reviews. And the weaknesses of this star-studded moral study can actually be identified quite clearly. It doesn’t make it a bad film. Just someone who has a lot of potential. We reveal more about this in our review.
Different laws apply in war…
“Semper Fi” is, first and foremost, a film about consequences. First of all, it’s about the consequences that Oyster has to experience for his inexperienced blow (the way Rubin stages this scene casually makes the impact of this life-changing moment hit all the harder). And later about how the consequences for Oyster affect Cal’s understanding of morality. We don’t want to reveal at this point where exactly his gradually worsening conscience leads, even though he was simply acting in accordance with the law at the time. It gives the film, which was previously staged as a dirty, dramatic prison and war drama (camera: David Devlin), the same dynamism that the film lacks a little in advance – although “Semper Fi” moves at a good pace in terms of narrative and relies on big jumps in time in between.
“’Semper Fi’ is first and foremost a film about consequences. First of all, it’s about the consequences that Oyster has to experience for his inexperienced shot. And later about how the consequences for Oyster affect Cal’s understanding of morality.”
Rubin makes it easy by explaining Cal’s change in character by how his sense of morality as a police officer conflicts with that of a soldier. Over time, perspectives on issues can change due to events we experience ourselves. The script doesn’t leave you much more room for interpretation. This simple explanation is sufficient, especially for the strong finale, which can be assigned to a completely different genre (which would, however, reveal too much about the outcome of the film). And somehow you are ultimately touched because, despite all the violence and rampant masculinity, the loving relationship between two brothers turns out to be the most important thing in this harsh world.
Conclusion: Because Henry Alex Rubin simply fails to flesh out some important parts of his story, “Semper Fi” is a film that falls far short of its potential, but overall still cuts a solid figure as a suspense drama.
“Semper Fi” can be seen in USA cinemas from July 9th.