Battle Scars (NR)

Drama 94 min. July 14, 2017
By Craig D. Lindsey
I'm sure there's a thoughtful way to make a movie about a war veteran who loses his genitals during combat. Unfortunately, Battle Scars doesn't find it -- mainly because the movie doesn't have one original, sensible thought. It's all about this Marine Corps soldier (Zane Holtz) who returns home after fighting in Afghanistan, plagued with both PTSD and the loss of his nether regions. While he gets the Purple Heart and a $50,000 check for his troubles, he also leaves his wife and crashes at his weed-dealing brother's place. You'd think a movie with subject matter like this would have our protagonist figuring out how to cope with such a life-changing, physical loss, maybe even interacting with men who've been through the same predicament. Instead, Battle Scars takes a lunkheaded detour into sleazy crime-thriller land when our hero goes on the run with a strip-club waitress (Heather McComb) -- who initially took his credit-card info and went on a shopping spree, by the way — when they both incur the wrath of the club's insanely villainous owner (Fairuza Balk, with a ridiculous, Eastern-European accent that makes her sound like she's looking for "moose and squirrel").

The sheer stupidity of all this pissed me the hell off. Writer-director Danny Buday has slapped together a so-called drama in which practically all the characters make the most insipid, illogical decisions. But what's truly offensive is how Buday dedicates this movie to all the soldiers who've lost limbs and had to rebuild their lives. I'm sure any war-vet amputee will tell you that, no matter how bad things have gotten, they've never done the dumb, insulting shit that goes on in Battle Scars.
Danny Buday Zane Holtz, Heather McComb, Fairuza Balk, David James Elliott, Ryan Eggold Danny Buday Gravitas Ventures

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