24th Jun2014

‘I Declare War’ DVD Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Siam Yu, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend, Aidan Gouveia, Mackenzie Munro, Alex Cardillo, Kolton Stewart, Eric Hanson, Alex Wall | Written by Jason Lapeyre | Directed by Robert Wilson, Jason Lapeyre


I Declare War is a war film which documents the horrors of war including torture, battles, violence and balloons filled with paint. Of course, War in this case is a summer game played in a forest between two teams of children. But this year is different. Will P.K Sullivan (Gage Munroe) be able to keep his title of reigning champion? Or will betrayal and jealousy on both sides lead to a much more serious and deadly game than anyone was expecting? Who will win War?

This film opens with action straight away and doesn’t let up the the entirety. I Declare War follows the two teams of children in the forest playing war but allows their imaginations to take control so bullets fly and previously wooden weapons become machines of death. The film really allows the viewer to play along with these kids, leading to some fun situations and battles which, when we played in real life, could only have dreamed of. However, it doesn’t fail to capture the essence of a war film either. The kids are brutal to each other, the violence of course seems real and it definitely paints a darker picture on what these games represent.

Of course when jealousy and betrayal are thrown into the mix, bullying becomes a prevalent theme in this film as well. The two main ‘generals’ in the fight, PK and Skinner (Michael Friend) are people who will get anything done to win the war, including cheating, betraying their friends and even torture. Their performances in particular are almost frighteningly real at some points in the film making you question what their intentions are and, in the case of Skinner, just down right hate him.

One of the best parts about I Declare War is that, at the end of the day, they still act like children. They throw tantrums when they get ‘killed’ (splashed with a paint grenade) and have to go home. They chat about what they are going to do ‘after War’, about who is going to who’s house and what video games they are going to play. One even shoots people with his laser eyes when he gets angry. Overall the film is a dance between the imaginary and the reality of both war and childhood. The result is a beautifully crafted film that I would definitely recommend you watch.

I Declare War is released on DVD on June 30th courtesy of Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.


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