Netflix are using the week to do some binging of their own with a marathon binge-posting of trailers for their unreal variety of original shows and movies. One such example is the movie Sand Castle, an Iraq War drama told from the perspective of U.S. forces trapped in an apparent quagmire conflict. While this topic isn’t exactly virgin territory in film, this one seems to rely on pathos, carried by leads in comic book movie men in the X-Men Beast actor Nicholas Hoult and current Superman star Henry Cavill.
The Sand Castle trailer focuses on young Private Matt Ocre (Hoult). With the film set in 2003 shortly after the invasion of Iraq, we meet Ocre, who apparently arrived for this initial tour bright-eyed and seeking glory, only to end up dispirited enough to try and escape by breaking his own arm. Deployed to the outskirts of Baqubah to repair a water pump damaged by U.S. bombs, enmity from the locals they purportedly protect and Insurgent attacks are overwhelming. Meanwhile, the seasoned Captain Syverson (Cavill) is also frustrated, though takes a more pragmatic, hardline approach toward the mission, clearly under no delusion that their ambushing enemy will have a change of heart in the face of any emotional appeal or the proverbial tear-drenched shouting of “Martha.”
Directing Sand Castle is Brazilian helmer Fernando Coimbra, who made his feature debut in his native country with 2013’s A Wolf at the Door, subsequently tackling two Season 1 episodes of Netflix series Narcos. Now, the streaming outlet provides the distributive platform for Coimbra’s English language debut in Sand Castle, working off a screenplay by actor-turned-scribe Chris Roessner. Joining Hoult and Cavill in the cast are Logan Marshall-Green (Quarry), Gonzalo Menendez (Breaking Bad), Neil Brown Jr. (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), Glen Powell (Hidden Figures), Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy), Sope Dirisu (Humans), Beau Knapp (The Nice Guys) and Sam Spruell (The Hurt Locker).
Sand Castle will try to take comfort in yellow ribbons and Freedom Fries when it premieres on Netflix on April 21.