Set during the grand, sweeping Napoleonic age, an officer in the French army insults another officer and sets off a life-long enmity. The two officers, D'Hubert and Feraud, cross swords ... See full summary »
A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but ... See full summary »
Andrew V. McLaglen
Jamie Shannon is a soldier of fortune -- a mercenary who will stage a coup or a revolution for the right price. He is hired by British mining interests to scout out Zangaro, a small African nation with rich mineral deposits but a brutal and xenophobic dictatorship. Arrested soon after his arrival, Shannon is imprisoned as a spy, badly beaten, and tortured. While in prison he meets one of the country's leading intellectuals, Dr. Okoye, also imprisoned by the regime. Eventually released, he returns to London and is subsequently offered to opportunity to secretly invade Zangaro's capital and lead a military coup. Shannon accepts, but quietly has his own agenda to pursue. Written by
John Irvin directed this film, starring Christopher Walken as war veteran mercenary who gets a job by government to travel to Africa and inform the situation that is pretty hot in there. He does it, and sees the violence that takes place there, and when he returns to US and tells about the evil dictator that dominates there, the new job for him is to travel there again and wipe out the incarnation of evil..
This film isn't any action film as many seem to have expected - me included
but this is pretty sophisticated, but still also little slow moving (dir.
cut. 15mins longer than the US version) portrait about the state of some countries in the world, and what these dictators can do to people and country. I'm mostly fascinated by the film's atmosphere and calmness as there isn't stupid gunplay or other usual flaws often found in these films. Walken acts greatly in his role of retired war veteran who takes the job only because of money offered to him. At the end, a twist in plot is coming and all the greediness and betrayal in the film gets a new face.
The end is little stupid as it tries to imitate Apocalypse Now a little, by depicting Walken's face and "the horror" as Francis Ford Coppola did, and the gun fights at the end are also little unnecessary, especially when the film managed to be without them for so long. Still the result is satisfying, yet little too long and occasionally may make the viewer feel little tired, but this film isn't meant to be watched when tired. The US distributor cut the original version by over ten minutes, and I saw the original director's cut which includes many important bits of dialogue and things that add to the film. So I recommend the director's cut of the film as it is the directors original version.
Dogs of War is pretty intelligent and interesting depiction of power and dictatorship, and also very nostalgic in its atmosphere and scenery. The gun battle at the end of the film is great looking and also gripping, but as mentioned, also little unnecessary and too traditional finale. 7/10
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