VERITY LUSH: Advert for war game shown before Dunkirk is sickening

When you go to the cinema you spend a substantial amount of time watching the advertisements. They drone on for 25 minutes and are easily avoidable by going in later, but then you risk disturbing the rest of your already-seated row of fellow movie-goers.

Friday, 11th August 2017, 9:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 10:58 am
An image from video game Call of Duty WWII

I went to see Dunkirk this week and realised the final five minutes of advertisements were particularly daft because those minutes are spent watching the cinema advertise itself.

You get five minutes of listening to how loud and bright your movie will be, rather than said movie simply starting a few minutes earlier, thereby showing you how loud and bright it is.

Dunkirk is powerful stuff.

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Harrowing and blunt about the horrors of war, yet released with a 12A certificate so young people can watch it and, hopefully, learn the harsh lessons of our history.

During the adverts before Dunkirk, and prior to the cinema telling me how loud the film was going to be, Call of Duty: WWII was advertised.

This jarred considerably with what we were about to see.

It’s a so-called ‘first-person shooter’ video game and I can’t grasp where the ‘fun’ is, in ‘playing’ a realistic war ‘game’.

Having sat through a gut-wrenching hour and 45 minutes that depict the hell and horror, the fear and the filth and the brutality of war, where do folk get off on pretending they’re in it?

It’s akin to creating a game in which you pretend to have cancer and do battle against it, choosing your weapons of choice, namely chemo, radiotherapy, and cocktails of drugs and major surgery to see if you make it out alive. Sickening.

I don’t imagine that would be a big seller, maybe because it would be seen as being too close to home.

It seems highly inappropriate to make games about the Second World War in which grown men and kids, who shouldn’t be playing it anyway, pretend they’re waging war against the enemy.

It’s one thing commemorating true heroism and ensuring lessons are learnt from the past, but it’s another entirely to pretend it’s something that anyone would want to visit in real life just for kicks.


As any runner will know, it can be tough to decide whether or not to take your trainers on holiday.

For some, it’s non-negotiable, especially if they are either training for something or still at the evangelical stage of running.

It can be particularly refreshing to run in an entirely new location and just head off.

And the scenery on your holiday is generally prettier, too, which leads to a more fulfilling scamper.

However, this year, I deliberately left my running shoes at home.

I ran hard for the three weeks before going away and as I was only off for a week, decided the trainers could stay put.

I was shocked to find that far from feeling twitchy, the week off did me good.


My family did its annual disappearing act to the most southerly tip of the country this summer.

There is something a little bit magical about the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, particularly for our children.

This is the place where they get to run free, make friends and revel in the kind of freedom the city cannot provide them with in the 21st century.

They charge about the meadow in which we stay.

They toast marshmallows on campfires, swim and wave-jump.

They spend days covered in salty sand and sticky ice cream smears. The kinds of things childhood should be made of.

So disappointing therefore that we only manage to get down there once a year, yet so rewarding when we do.