Forgotten Friday Flick – “I Declare War”

And my #1 picks of past Top Ten lists just keep on coming with this little ditty from my 2013 selections that dares to mix kids and combat – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  This week we’re heading behind enemy lines to seek out a cinematic tasty little treat that lovingly mixes genres and succeeds.  With stellar comedy, action, drama and a pinch of pint-sized revenge, the flick in question is a bold and brilliant blend of Goonies and Platoon for the kid in us all.  Raise the flag as…I Declare War!

A group of 12-year-olds have made a tradition of playing a local game of Capture the Flag.  Two teams in a heavy forest armed with only twigs, a set of rules and their imaginations, but the simple and safe kids game suddenly takes a wrong turn.  Alliances are challenged and broken, friendships are pushed to the limit and manipulation and strategy become the catch of the day – let the games begin.

I so desperately want to explain more and divulge the intricate plots twists, cool fantasy vs. reality imagery and dark examination of human nature within the film, but then why would anyone need to go see I Declare War?  An experience like no other, the film manages to capture a barrage of movie magic in a single picture and to say it’s a fantastic feat would be an understatement.  For those who like to laugh, there’s a distinctive Monster Squad like kid wit and comradery, while those looking for a little meat on their dramatic bone get plenty of child machismo on the form of real feeling war moments with a dark fairy tale like twist.

But beyond the masterful writing and directing (duo team Jason Lapeyre & Robert Wilson who must be geniuses – stay away from Hollywood guys!), this movie belongs to the kids and all provide something special.  Best of the bunch is Gage Munroe as the driven PK, Siam Yu as his innocent right hand man, Michael Friend (in a damn Oscar winning turn!) as the troubled and power-hungry Skinner and especially Mackenzie Munro as the cunning Jess.  (She’s like a mini-Lady Macbeth!)

There’s definitely some homage to great war films (Spencer Howes character sports the name Joker – the nickname of Matthew Modine’s funnyman in Full Metal Jacket!) and even the performances have a hint of past cinema greatness (PK and Skinner are like a pint-size version of Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger in Platoon!), but in the end it’s all original work that lovingly cleanses the cinematic palate.  (Think Lord of the Flies…if it were cool!)  Stunning films are becoming a rare breed these days, but if you truly look hard enough they are still alive and kicking.  A little movie in a world of studio overspending, I Declare War fights the familiar film battle of David and Goliath…and wins.


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

1 Response to “Forgotten Friday Flick – “I Declare War””

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Nice one!