Thursday, 7 May 2015

Age of Heroes (2011)

This is one of those movies where I kept waiting for it to do it's Thing.  The Thing that had made the film happen.  The little wrinkle or quirk or out-of-the-ordinary idea that had explains why someone put up the not-inconsiderable amount of cash needed to make a movie.

It never happened.  This film really is the pale, slightly lifeless imitation of a 60s war film that it appears to be.  It's not actively awful you understand, it's just ... there.  A lump of cinematic indifference.  Frankly, I'd have enjoyed it more if it was awful, but had a Thing.

So obviously I am not going to recommend this, but what's it all about?  Well, basically it's a fictionalised account of Operation Biting, a real WW2 commando raid.  Highly fictionalised: they changed the name to Operation Grendel, moved it from France to Norway, and cut the number of soldiers involved from 120 to 8.  The last of course can be explained by the realities of film-making.

The script mixes in a little of The Dirty Dozen, with two of the commandos on the raid being lifted out of military prison to take part.  This includes the nominal protagonist of the film, who it seems we're supposed to warm to as this Gutsy Common Man Who Rises To The Occasion, but frankly the writing never justifies that.  His rise to greatness is really more of a sidle to mediocrity.

If you've got a hankering to watch an old-fashioned war movie, pick one with more liveliness than this insipid affair.  The Dirty Dozen is probably the obvious candidate, given the obvious echoes in this film.

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