‘Thank You For Your Service’
Director: Jason Hall
Stars: Miles Teller, Haley Bennett
3 (Out Of 5) Globes
Plot: Sergeant Adam Schumann (Miles Teller) returns home to the US after his third deployment in Iraq, but the mental toil of his time in service soon starts to wreak havoc on his life. Schumann fails to find any support from the government, too, while his struggle to reintegrate back into society soon puts him at odds with his family. At the same time, Tausolo Aieti (Beulah Koale) and Will Waller (Joe Cole), two of Schumann’s comrades from Iraq, also can’t acclimate, too, and the trio try to keep one another out of harm’s way.
Review: “Thank You For Your Service” is a wholeheartedly commendable endeavor. Not just because of its weighty subject matter, which sees it examine PTSD and the lack of options provided to veterans, but because, at first, writer and director Jason Hall and its star Miles Teller handle the subject matter in a probing, stark, realistic, yet still engaging manner. This is a much different Teller to the explosive masculinity of “Whiplash” and “Bleed With Me,” though. Adam Schumann is the sad clown, trying to quash his inner demons without ever outwardly showing it, while always making sure those around him are treated first. Teller can’t quite hit the heights of the aforementioned, but he brings a festering intensity that keeps you invested. Meanwhile, Hall hits all the right points, highlighting striking institutionalized flaws and injustices, and effectively putting us in the shoes of his three leading comrades. But “Thank You For Your Service” isn’t able to expand upon this foundation. Instead, the authenticity and detail that made it so effective eventually dissipates, and it becomes disappointingly predictable. Especially when it comes to its ending, which lacks any punch or satisfaction. That doesn’t take away from its gallant and vital message, it just means that, ultimately, most viewers will be too bored to listen.