Ang Lee’s ambitions disconnect from the results of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, an all too undercooked study on PTSD and our proprietary culture back home feeding off of American veterans. Centering on the titular war hero Lynn (Joe Alwyn), his beleagured Army battalion is used for entertainment factor during a Thanksgiving football halftime show before being shipped back for their next tour of duty. Shot at 120 frames per second (well above the standard 24), Lee also utilizes a flashback structure to present a young soldier lost in time and space with all of his senses firing off faster than he can absorb them.
The struggle isn’t just in the fledgling technology but also in the broad flatness that pervades the film, the thematics and stylization much more interesting than the film brings them to be. Without the narrative groundwork done to make the film resonate, Billy Lynn isn’t much more than concept.