2011, Movies

Forces speciales (2011, Stephane Rybojad)

This film was brought to you by the Armed Forces of France.

Or at least I assume it was because I don’t see how they could have otherwise gotten permission (and the funds) to access all that military equipment. This is a film made by Frenchmen who apparently really like American war propaganda films. Or something like that. It follows a lot of easy cliches of those films in the first act. It hits all its marks but very unconvincingly – and with French actors inhabiting the roles that major American supporting actors would be holding if this were made by the States.

Diane Kruger is a French journalist who never speaks French until rescued by French soldiers. I don’t think she utters another English word for the rest of the movie. And once rescued we go on a bizarre trek through France and Tajikistan – subbing in for Pakistan they’d have you believe – and always on the most prominent, wind-exposed places. It’s as if these “Special Forces” hadn’t received a day of wilderness training in their lives. I mean, I’d have a much better chance in the mountains of Pakistan than these idiots. Their first instinct is to climb into the Alps Himalayas – even though they are ostensibly going the wrong direction for that range – and they constantly fail to make reasonable decisions. For example: they are just huddling out in the middle of the snow one day despite the ample crags around them which would provide shelter from the wind – but which would harm the aerial shots. And then, after they have supposedly crossed the Himalayas – and, again, wrong the direction! – they somehow run into the same group of Taliban militants waiting for them. Who the fuck knows how that happened. After they get savaged by them, Kruger is eventually sent out on her own, only to collapse in a desert! And not just any desert, an African fucking desert. (It looked like it. And, well, I checked. Sure enough: Djibouti!) I mean, do they think we’re idiots? I guess they do.

Anyway, this is not just a terrible ad for the French army. It’s a badly done one.


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