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In the thick of WWII, the 1st Special Service Force unit is called to duty on a secret rescue mission. Challenged by Nazis at every turn, our band of heroes bunker in a bombed out city and race against time to relay a message that is crucial to the Allies invasion of Sicily. Cornered and caught between a rock and a hard place, they only have one option: fire more bullets! Written by
A film that promises much and ultimately delivers little....
I picked this movie up on a whim, one of many recent low budget WW2 movies that seem to have been hitting the shelves of the straight to DVD market. I have no problem with low budget films of this type and recently there have been some good ones and this one starts out with noble intentions as the opening titles would suggest, that the film is about the story of a real unit, made up of Americans and Canadians (The Film the Devils Brigade covers the actual unit) but here unfortunately is where the factual content of the film ends.
Set just before the invasion of Scily an American recon unit (Apparently the 101st Airborne who never actually were there) are captured and another team is sent to rescue them. That's the plot in a nutshell. The DOP has gone to some considerable effort to give the film a warm feel to represent the right part of Europe, but this can't let the film escape the fact that it was obviously all shot in California. I would have thought someone could have least grabbed a camera and taken some shots of the actual island which could have been nicely edited in to compensate for this. The acting wasn't all bad, and there were some funny lines,(plenty are just awful) but that's the problem with this film, it gives the impression its going to be about a factual battle, then half way through tries to become Kelly's Heroes and does neither successfully. The unit don't act like a military unit, moving with caution in one shot and then sauntering along the same path with not a care in the world in the next moment. The Nazi officer is just comical and stands in the middle of the road firing his gun while gunfire rages all around him. The fight scenes are actually quite boring and full of continuity issues and often make little sense to the plot or serve to enhance the story. (Such as it is) This project obviously started out with good intentions and its not as bad as 'Rhineland' (That's way worse) but somewhere it got lost and couldn't decide what it wanted to be. If your going to make films set in Europe, then you need to look at A Midnight Clear for an example of how to do it properly (Shot entirely on location in the USA)
I wanted to like this film and for a brief moment I thought I might, but in the end there was just too much that was wrong with it, which was a shame, because there could have been a good little film here. Alas sadly not.
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