The Colt (2005)
An Earlier War Horse
As the war between the North and South wages on Jimmy Rabb (Ryan Merriman - Elevator Girl) has the uncomfortable task of writing home to his parents to inform them that his brother has been killed. Not long after as their camp comes under fire his horse bolts and when he catches up to it discovers it has given birth to a foal. Informed by his superior that the colt must be shot as he will be a hindrance during battle Jimmy can't bring himself to do it, nor can anyone else leading to the colt tagging along with them. But war rages on and Jimmy finds himself feeling a desperate need to protect the colt from the enemy.
As I watched "The Colt" a movie set during the American Civil War I wrote the words "observations on humanity during battle" and that kind of sums up what this movie is all about. The whole Civil War aspect is not important, this could have been set during WWI or Vietnam but what is important is the colt. On one hand he symbolises new life in dark times and the hope which it brings whilst we also see how this innocent animal born into war brings out the humanity of men around it be it Union soldier or Confederate.
It is not just the colt who does this because we observe the men chatting be it one Union soldier to another or to a dying Confederate soldier afraid to die alone. And as such "The Colt" does observe humanity during war.
But whilst that makes "The Colt" an interesting American Civil War movie with a compassionate side it has one major problem. It doesn't really have a storyline, there is no objective that we become involved in, we are just there watching these moments of humanity during the war. For some that might not be an issue but for me I needed some sort of central storyline, some sort of goal to connect with and feel like I am participating in for a movie to work.
Aside from that "The Colt" for a TV movie is nicely shot, obviously done on a moderate budget but with nice close quarter camera work which suits the modus operandi of observing humanity. And it is nicely acted with Ryan Merriman delivering a solid performance of what ends up an ultimately forgettable character.
What this all boils down to is that "The Colt" was okay because of its different approach to the American Civil War with its observations on humanity. But because it ends up lacking a central plot with a goal it struggles to maintain the audience's interest.
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