The Battle of the Century

Film Review by Dean Duncan Sep 10, 2015

The pie fight is the famous thing here. It shouldn’t cause us to forget the fine boxing sequence that gets the film underway. That Stan L. is so great! And you can see, you can really feel how Hardy is figuring out to play with him, play against him, establish this rich network of connections and interdependencies.

Remember the boxing sequence, but this pie fight! That phrase doesn’t even do the thing justice. There are individual moments—the guy with the big mouth in the dentist’s chair, the guy who gets absolutely walloped, to the point of his head snapping back, the in/famous thing that happens to Anita Garvin—but it’s the entire assembly that really impresses. I’m not sure it quite constitutes a vision of war, but as a cinematic record of pitched battle, it’s actually not too far from the exalted accomplishments of Welles’ Chimes at Midnight.