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Forces spéciales
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Reviews & Ratings for
Special Forces More at IMDbPro »Forces spéciales (original title)

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59 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Much better than I expected

Author: Jean-Marc Liotier from Paris, France
5 November 2011

Starts as the expected showy advertising for French armed forces (I love the genre but I understand it may not be everybody's cup of tea), then masquerades as some attempt at a lame military action storyline... And then before you know it you find yourself emotionally pulled into a story that provides its share of insights into the contemporary meaning of being a professional soldier. Obviously heavy support from the French armed forces to the production enables the attention to detail that provides credible full immersion into the environment through many vignettes. Stunning landscapes make that even better. Sure, a couple of tactical choices and implausible coincidences pivotal to the story look like concessions to the necessities of a Hollywood movie scenario... But I'll gladly forgive that - and the use of music too : the temptations of becoming a documentary or a caricature have been resisted after all, and what's left is an engaging survival story that will catch an audience far wider than the military niche.

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36 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Decent action movie that loses itself halfway through

4/10
Author: D-Sligar from United States
25 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, overall this was a pretty decent action film and all looked well up to half-way through the film. It was at this point the writer MUST have forgotten he had elite men in the special forces as the main characters. Why do I say this?

*** SPOILERS *** How is it that almost the entire team gets wiped out by the end and the waifish reporter is the only one that initially makes it out? The film will boggle your senses as you see the "elite" making some major boneheaded decisions that end up in them getting seriously injured or killed. Secondly, how is it that out of the entire team NONE of them carried any type of mass-injury inflicting devices; i.e., grenades and claymores (okay, they had at least one... but JUST one)??? You can clearly see the grenade launchers attached to their weapons, but not once do you see them use it.

Finally, the thing that really kills the movie is the entire lack of credibility given the shear numbers of "taliban-types" involved in the movie. You'd think they were like cockroaches hiding under every stone, nook and cranny... not to mention they never seem to die. When they initially go in to rescue the reporter, the team killed practically ALL of the taliban in the small hideout, then the leader shows up with maybe 10-12 more. The team ends up dropping at least half that number but the taliban keep increasing in numbers as if they're spawning in a freakin video game!!!

Then, when the choppers come in for extraction, do they have ANY type of air support at all? Nope, and a easily shoulder-launched rocket takes one out before they're even in the zone. Does the commander; er, admiral, send in another, better prepared extraction package? Nope, pretty much just leaves them s.o.l. Total b.s. and the lack of skill shown by the special forces team made it even worse. Not to mention the cost of lives just to save one reporter from a tenacious antagonist that proceeds with one-track terminator-like intent... not even worth it!

*** END SPOILERS ***

I kept wanting to just shut off the film after seeing all this b.s. just keep popping up, yet forced myself to finish the movie just to see if things ever got better. Nope, never did... suck waste of time. The film shots were nice, but there was hardly any dialogue total lack of character development. Watch only if there's nothing else on and you need an action movie fix (though, suspend rational thought when you do so). Not terrible, but not good either.

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31 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Not that good

3/10
Author: Bohumil Cambalik (lantis.esquin@gmail.com) from Slovakia
24 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Only minor spoilers...

I watched this movie because it was made by French and really hoped for some realistic "non-Luc Besson" action. I believed this movie would really show us how special forces work. And as for the first part of the movie (the rescue action) I really felt like I was there. It was all made believable and I was hungry to watch more. Unfortunately it soon took an ugly turn and the whole movie turned into some kind of a road movie without an interesting plot.

I took the first hint when our special forces are pursued by some 10 to 15 Taliban fighters. SF lie behind a rock and wait for them to come closer until they open fire. But guess what. They don't fire from behind the cover. Instead they choose to stand up (or kneel, whatever) and expose themselves to enemy fire. Of course none of them gets hurt but hey, isn't it better for your aim to lie down? And isn't int better for your safety to shoot from a cover?

The movie went on in this fashion and I soon realized what it means to be in special forces. It means to shoot the enemy (who is doing nothing but running towards you as if their guns only worked at 20 meters distance), you must always stand to provide a better target (preferably in an open area) and never rely on modern technology to get you out of enemy territory.

There was a bright side to this one as well. They did not use English as the first language in the movie (as they usually do). French was used, sometimes the native tongue and sometimes English. Special effects were also good but the special forces were definitely not...

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32 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best and Most Underrated Action Movies I Have Recently Seen

9/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14 July 2012

In Afghanistan, the French journalist Elsa (Diane Kruger) and her colleague Amen (Mehdi Nebbou) are covering the story of Maina (Morjana Alaoui), a woman that was sold to a man when she was a child. The Taliban leader Ahmed Zaief (Raz Degan) abducts Elsa and Amen and tries to force her to read a message to the Western governments.

The Frech president sends six Special Force men to rescue Elsa that his hidden in a fortress in Pakistan. The team composed by Commander Kovax (Djimon Hounsou), Tic-Tac (Benoît Magimel), Lucas (Denis Ménochet), the sniper Elias (Raphaël Personnaz), Victor (Alain Figlarz) and Marius (Alain Alivon) release Elsa and Amen from their imprisonment but they lose their radios. Now the group needs to cross the inhospitable land to save their lives with the Taliban chasing them.

"Forces Spéciales" is one of the best and most underrated action movies I have recently seen. The talented Diane Kruger is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful contemporary actresses and has an awesome performance in the role of a French journalist kidnapped by the Taliban.

The action scenes are excellent, with great choreography and it is funny to read reviews telling that they are unrealistic as if it was a documentary and not an action film. The film is engaging from the beginning to the last scene in the end of the credits and like in most European films, the cast speaks more than one language. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Forças Especiais" ("Special Forces")

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38 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Gets boring after a while

Author: kochampivo from Norway
8 March 2012

I am not going to watch this movie again. Why? Because there was few moments in the movie where it felt real. Although some of the actors like the female reporter did a good job of acting, the surroundings didn't seem to be following. The action part looked like any other with the bad guys falling like flies and the good guys standing exposed to the bullets and nothing hitting them. The bad guys resembled zombies and just walked towards the bullets to die as soon as they could. Whenever any of the good guys were hit, everybody cried and screamed like it was the end of the world and they had a lot of time mourning right in the middle of sustained shootings. But the bad guys didn't care dying and as mentioned fell like flies to the ground. The chase scene also didn't look real. While the heroes had to pass high altitude in extremely cold and snow storm, the bad guys suddenly appeared and surprised them. Unlike the heroes, they had little clothing and no sign of wear and exhaustion. This movie could be a lot better if the action scene were a bit more realistic and the bad guys had more character and looked smarter. Other stuff that I didn't like was the fact that these guys where not found although the military had hundreds of ways of finding them. They didn't search for them and these guys had nothing electronic to send a signal back to base although they had everything else imaginable like infinite number of bullets to shoot during their journey. Sometimes in the movie you could see that they had used ideas from other movies to make it more dramatic. You can of course watch this movie but don't be afraid to get disappointed.

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25 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

terrible and complete waste of time

2/10
Author: zeenster
10 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wanted to watch an interesting show to distract me from life (at least for the duration of the movie) but to watch 2 hour of final destination combined with national geographic scenic aerial camera angles with suspend disbelief type combat (infinite ammo) just made me irritated. I have seen more realistic firefights in Xbox call of duty game (any of them). I would ask for money back if I could! Waste of time and the stranger next to me agreed because he was snoring through the second half.

The problem with the movie is that it takes itself too seriously but does not get the details right. No soldier in his right mind would a)stand on a ridge-line and fire at the enemy b) conduct most of the firefights standing (no matter how good it looks good on screen) c)have weapons only for show (the grenade launcher (noobtube) attached to their rifle is NEVER used) d) leave an empty cartridge jammed in the ejection port (in one of the scenes as they are walking, watch out for the gold cartridge) e) choose not to compromise the mission one day and then compromise it the next day f) ambush the enemy haphazardly (no plan of attack, no element of surprise and no clear leadership directions)

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38 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

standard combat film

5/10
Author: dmuel from downtown, Michigan
26 December 2011

Forces Speciales tells the story of the French Special Forces and their mission, in this instance, to save journalists who have been kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan and taken to the tribal areas of Pakistan. The covert operation develops complications and the sole lure of the movie is to discover whether the mission will succeed or fail; will they live or die.

As one reviewer notes, the movie is nearly a commercial for the French Special Forces, and the plot of the movie, what there is of it, involves a kill-crazed Al Qaeda leader and his nameless and near-faceless band of zombie-like henchmen who relentlessly pursue their victims. Whoever gets in the way of this insane band of thugs, Afghan, Pakistan, foreign soldier or whatever, they seem to crave killing them quickly. And, the supply of these killers seems limitless, offering the viewer ample opportunities to watch them machine-gunned down in large numbers by the heroes, including a few scenes that include an accompanying heavy-metal music soundtrack.

Yes we see the heroism, self-sacrifice and compassion of the gallant French warriors, along with the typical scenes of male-bonding. But much of this movie is standard fair for the genre, and a very one-dimensional look at the problems of this troubled area of the world. If you think that suits your taste, go for it! One last comment, when will we stop seeing overweight, gray-haired men portraying elite commandos? This is a young man's occupation. I'm surprised we didn't see Jean Reno as the commando leader, but that would have been even more difficult to believe.

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Nothing brilliant, but a decent action film

7/10
Author: Argemaluco from Argentina
30 June 2012

At first sight, it would seem that Special Forces is one of many cheap straight-to-DVD action films. The art of its Blu-Ray box couldn't have been more generic; its title doesn't say too much; and its cast has some famous actors, but none of them is a big star. However, the reality is very different...Special Forces is a polished French production made with enough money to compete with Hollywood films from this type, something which gave it the opportunity of being filmed in spectacular natural settings, employing genuine military hardware, and orchestrate action scenes with high technical and visual values. However, the screenplay from Special Forces has various clichés, and it looks like the one of any typical B-movie we could find on some TV channel at night.

The screenplay from Special Forces is developed through a familiar road, even though with enough deviations in order to keep a moderate suspense and the obligatory melodrama which works in order to humanize the characters with picturesque glimpses to the their nature and occasional details about their personal lives. Sometimes, this "humanization" works, and sometimes, it doesn't, depending on how well it's integrated to the story. For example, we know that one of the soldiers wants to go back home in order to witness his son's birth, and even though that's not a very original reason,it's enough for justifying his impatient attitude and desperate actions; but other characters lack of definition, and as a consequence, they fall into the involuntary anonymity; so, when one of them dies in combat and the film portrays the pain from his colleagues, it's difficult for us to share those emotions, and instead of sadness, we feel a slight boredom.

However, Special Forces kept me generally entertained despite not being a highly memorable film. One of the aspects I most liked from this movie is the way it examines the reasons why the French government would invest so many resources and risk themselves to provoke an international incident in order to rescue a journalist they didn't care about when she was doing her job; and I also liked to see a similar questioning between the soldiers themselves, specially when things start going wrong and it seems that they won't survive the mission...Is it worthy to sacrifice a dozen of loyal soldiers in order to save only one life? Where does the humanitarian mission end and where does the political manipulation begin?

The actors from Special Forces make an adequate work, highlighting Diane Kruger and Djimon Hounsou. The cinematography is excellent, and the action scenes are well filmed. On the negative side, some action sequences look incompatible with the characters' profession. I mean, I'm not an expert in military strategy, but there are some moments which draw the attention for the foolishness these "elite soldiers", who are supposedly trained for any situation, commit. Nevertheless, I had a good time while watching Special Forces, and even though it's not something brilliant, I can give it a moderate recommendation.

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Good acting, but totally unrealistic

4/10
Author: snowmobil92
6 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first part of the movie was pretty good and realistic, but after they freed the journalist and that other guy it just got worse and worse.

I mean these guys are special forces, but instead of taking cover, they just stand there shooting, ofc not one of them gets hit.

When the taliban sniper takes out one of them and Elias (their sniper) goes after him, he runs out of the village, goes down, aims, takes his first shot. Hits him in the leg. Now the enemy sniper is in pain, and won't be able to shoot for at least several seconds. But instead of taking a follow-up shot, what does he do? He gets up and runs another 50 meters, lets the enemy sniper take a shot at him and then finally kills him.

And it goes on and on...

But yea if these things don't bother you, i guess you should give this movie a chance, the rest was pretty good.

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Good action, little logic

5/10
Author: Ivar mr. from Estonia
21 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Usually the action in these types of films tends to be very realistic and this one doesn't disappoint in that area. All of the action is done nicely in co-operation with the army, it looks good and credible. The problem I have with this film is the overall story - an elite group of soldiers on a rescue mission and when it goes bad they create a backup plan (considering the mission type seems highly unlikely that they already didn't have one) is to start climbing over mountains to head to safety. And in the process their chasers keep coming at them by running straight into their line of fire again and again failing every attempt, never changing their strategy or attack method. Even if we leave the lateral out it gets worse. The film portraits the difficulties of professional soldiers on a run but at no point do they show or consider that the same difficulties also apply to their chasers (who don't have such military training), they just keep popping up never tired or low on ammo (this also applies to special forces, reload anyone?). Considering it's a movie we can expect the previous faults and forgive them. Still I was hoping for a more tactical approach from the special forces, not just running around sacrificing men until they run out.

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