Ok, let’s be fair here and state up front: “this isn’t as good as the book, there’s bits missing.” Obviously this is a criticism that can be raised of any film based on a book, even the Lord Of The Rings film trilogy at over 11 hours long misses some bits out (Tom Bombadil for example) and “adds” bits the film maker’s think “would be a good idea” such as a Aragorn’s “love interest.” Don’t even start me on the Hobbit films, that should have been one film, two maximum, end of story. Having said that I saw this film BEFORE reading the book and I liked it. Having read the book all I can say is the film would probably have to be at least twice as long, if not longer, to accurately reflect everything written.
Catch 22 is about a group of US Air Force Army Corps pilots stationed in the Meditteranean in World War 2 and in particular Captain John Yossarian (Alan Arkin.) Due to an act of insubordination by Yossarian, he and his squadron, are assigned to particularly dangerous missions. Yossarian wishes to be declared insane so he can be relieved of duty as he’s sick of seeing his colleagues die, however, due to the “Catch-22″ the Army Air Corps employs an airman “would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he’d have to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t, he was sane and had to.” Ergo – Catch 22, which has of course now entered mainstream English.
The story is strictly “anti-war” and portrays the petty bureacracy of military life and the dark horrors of war and its conequences. As an interpration of Joseph Heller’s novel it’s hard to fault it really, it has kept all the “best bits”, so to speak and even if you’ve read the book I see no reason not to enjoy the film as well.
I give it 7 out of 10.