A British soldier is stranded in IRA-controlled Belfast in the thriller ‘71. Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell) is a new recruit in the British Army, who is stationed in the divided Irish city of Belfast at the height of The Troubles. After a tense standoff, which becomes violent, Hook finds himself injured and stranded in the IRA-controlled Catholic Nationalist district of the city. With IRA members on his trail, Hook struggles to find a way to contact his squadron and be rescued.
The Troubles, which lasted for two decades in Northern Ireland, is still one of the black marks in the history of the United Kingdom. ‘71 takes place at the height of the violence that regularly occurred in Belfast during the time period. Even though the film involves soldiers, ‘71 is much more of a thriller than a straight-up war film. Gary Hook is stuck within a hostile area of Belfast and does not know really who to trust.
The plot of ‘71 shows that everything was not so black and white when to came to the The Troubles. Without getting too much into spoiler territory, the film features both IRA members that don’t want unnecessary violence, as well as corrupt members of the British Army. This creates a very mafia-like scenario, which leads to a pretty tense climatic sequence. The film also shows that there were no age limits when it came to this conflict, since the film features both a very tough kid named Billy and a young IRA member named Sean, both who leave a lasting impact on the film. Altogether, ‘71 was a decent enough IRA thriller.
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