Written, directed and photographed by Ryan Little, Saints and Soldiers: The Void (aka Saints and Soldiers: Battle of the Tanks) is a solid, if undemanding, film which follows the story of a group of American troops who have been fighting in Europe at the close of WWII.
It’s 1945 and the war is over, at least, it is meant to be. Germany has accepted defeat and Hitler has committed suicide. The only problem is that either not everyone is aware of this or some of the Nazis have chosen to ignore defeat. A U.S. 2-tank crew located in the Harz Mountains assume that their duties are coming to a close, but a group of German fighters are determined to maintain a sense of conflict and set about trying to take out any Allied supply trucks that pass by. So the U.S. troops must prevent the German soldiers continuing to engage in warfare. The Germans have three tanks which they can use to instigate their violent plan, so there is significant potential for deadly consequences. They also have little compassion for any soldiers, subjecting anyone they capture to brutal treatment. The Americans have just one tank and morale between the troopers is also far from stable. Banter and mocking camaraderie are expected but downright racism is a significant problem. Cpl. Carey Simms (Adam Gregory) has issues with his black superior Sgt. Jesse Owens (K. Danor Gerald) but the two will need to work together if they are to defeat the remaining Nazi forces.
Ostensibly Saints and Soldiers: The Void’s main theme revolves around a gang of guys in a tricky conflict situation but couples it with personal differences in an army drama that tries to address issues that stem beyond its prime concept of war. Within the U.S. Group, race is a particular concern; a product of its time that hints at aspects that are also dealt with in the underrated aeroplane war drama Red Tails (Anthony Hemingway ) where the premise is factual. Saints and Soldiers: The Void marks the third in a series of thematically linked films. Previous instalments Saints and Soldiers (2003) and Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed (2012) were not written by Ryan Little but were directed by him. Unchallenging fare that passes the time.