Tuesday, 6 October 2015

No.247 : War Pigs

War Pigs at the IMDb

It’s very easy to slag off a straight to DVD film starring a bunch of Z-list actors…so let’s do that then!

The film is a bit of an ‘Inglorious Basterds’ rip off with a rag tag group of WW2 soldiers sent on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Here the similarities end however as instead of Brad Pitt and Chrisoph Waltz you get a blink and you’ll miss him appearance from Mickey Rourke and Luke Goss out of ‘Bros’ in the lead. What they didn’t spend on acting talent they also didn’t spend on sets or locations with sunny America standing in for what should be a mud splattered and freezing Europe.

The film opens with Captain Luke leading his troops on a patrol. Bad judgement or intelligence leads him into a nest of Germans and everyone gets killed apart from our hero. He is carpeted by his C/O, a ridiculous looking Mickey Rourke, whose ‘eccentric Major’ doesn’t disguise the fact that he must be the only officer on the Western Front with extensive plastic surgery and a cowboy hat. He delivers his lines in his celebrated slurry fashion and tells Luke that he’s up for a court martial unless he can lead a mission into enemy territory.

Luke may be torn up at the loss of his men, or because he’s read the rest of the script, but he agrees to the mission with the promise that his court martial will go away if he makes it back. We get the idea that Mickey may have another agenda and is being all enigmatic so imagine the disappointment at the end when we learn he totally doesn’t and is just (badly) acting that way.

Luke heads off to meet his new unit the notorious ‘War Pigs’. These are the toughest troops in the army and earned their name by, er, getting down in the dirt. Again I thought this was going to be a big reveal near the end but that’s really how they came by their name. The troops are meant to be your usual bunch of misfits but they all came across as really dull. Except maybe for Dolph Lundgren who shows up as a French Foreign Legion solider who is assigned to the unit for reasons unknown.

After a long padding sequence where the guys are put through extensive training (don’t they know there’s a war on?!) they get their orders - to investigate reports of a giant German artillery gun 10 miles behind enemy lines. That doesn’t seem very far especially at this stage of the war and given they have pissed away weeks in training, but never mind, this climax will be great!

The War Pigs show their greatness by mostly getting captured right away and it’s down to Luke to save the captured troops, find the gun and squeeze out a tear before the all too welcome end credits.

I quite enjoyed this terrible film, as a guilty pleasure you understand. It failed on almost every level with no characters to speak of, very little peril and dialogue that will make you cringe. Luke is a horrible actor and didn’t convince one iota as the troubled captain. He seems a nice enough bloke but saying ‘Soldier’ in every sentence doesn’t convey authority nor did he seem believable as an action hero taking down three Jerries in a fist fight.

He was better than Rourke however, who gets a laughable front and centre slot on the poster for his five minute’s work. His Frankenstein face and white cowboy hat made him look ridiculous and he conveyed all the menace of Sylvester Stallone’s mother.

The baddies were very poor too, with the one who was charged with the predictable old Gestapo torturer role as scary as a My Little Pony. The big threat of the super gun (it’s only a model) was nothing of the kind and dispatched with such ease you wonder why they didn’t issue our guys with pea-shooters instead.

The climax, which included a seemingly heroic death for Lundgren reversed, suggested a sequel could be possible - dear God no! I’d rather fight the Germans myself!

Best Bit - Luke goes Mano-a-mano-a-mano-a-mano.
‘W’ Rating 6/23

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