Less a story of a boy becoming soldier than a soldier becoming director. While it's great to have Boorman back (his vibrant palette, classical framing & burning romanticism seem ever more dear), the film lacks the "mythical" quality of his greatest work. It's essentially a tasteful cine-memoir told "straight", with little of the surrealism, biting satire & bursts of action that define & dominate his landmark films.
If this is the last Boorman film, it will be in the consecutive logic by which his final period has been built, but could not be further from the movies that way back in the 60's and 70's made him such an exciting filmmaker. The affective and personal memory took account and tamed him and it's very hard to find in this film any prospect of interest. In this case, "we can always go home", which not seems creative.
It's a delightful and heartwarmingly funny movie, that sometimes tries to be too much. The inclusion of some elements were kind of unnecessary, and could have been excluded as a way to trim the fat. However, it is very pretty, the array of characters is very colorful and gets consistently better, kind of like how the characters grow up throughout its course.