Friday, 16 March 2012

dvd review: special forces

To watch Special Forces is to war with your own incredulity. Individual tolerances for cliché are rigorously tested as an elite team of French special ops parachute in to the Afghan/Pakistan border region to rescue a French journalist from a rogue Taliban leader. Director Stéphane Rybojad and cinematographer David Jankowski take their cues from the Michael Bay school of military-fetishisation, with formation helicopter swoops and unnecessary scenes aboard the CDG aircraft carrier showing off the hardware, while a macho cast of warriors line-up to fulfil the combat genre’s standard squad-roles: the stoic leader, the moody lone-wolf sniper, the joker prone to shouting “I love my job!” midst fire-fight, and so on. Initially, it’s possible to enjoy Special Forces at the level of a Gallic Tears of the Sun – daft, but entertainingly earnest in its laudation of the armed forces as conflicted humanitarians at heart. But as the plot holes mount up, even this modest benchmark grows hopelessly out of reach.

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