In a Canadian suburbs, two gangs of teens play a summer’s day game of capture the flag. As the lines blur between fantasy and reality the game turns increasingly brutal and bloody.
Directing due Lapeyre and Wilson have come under fire of late for I Declare War and its lack of clear message and borderline exploitation; rather than a the Lord of the Flies style allegorical critique they were aiming for.
The premise of I Declare War is powerful. A childhood game of Capture the Flag evolves into a ruthless completely obliterating the kid’s idyllic urban idyll with violence, racism and homophobia coming to the fore. The effect is jarring and certainly thought provoking.
Despite the inevitable comparisons with Goldman’s Lord of The Flies and on-screen comparisons with Son of Rambow and Stand by Me it has neither the depth nor nostalgia of either.
Exploring the darker side of human nature through a seemingly innocent childhood game is a well explored concept. A few stand out performances aside (Friend and Munroe in particular) the film suffers from an indecisive message which stops short of hard critique and instead opts for shock value.
Directors: Robert Wilson, Jason Lapeyre.
Starring: Siam Yu, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend, Aidan Gouveia
Release Date: 30th June