Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dogs of War (1981)

Bleak, taut war thriller about a mercenary who gets involved with a platinum rich African nation headed by, you guessed it, a corrupt, murderous psychopath. Christopher Walken plays the mercenary, a paranoid spook who basically lives only to serve whatever master is paying him, in this case, a business conglomerate looking to overthrow the government to put in a dummy one to rape the country for all its resources. The film is split into two parts, and the first part is more drawn out; showing Walken's interactions with the nation, there is little English dialogue, and the story is told through lush, intricate visuals. The film settles into a more derivative vibe during its second half, but it feels earned and legitimate. Tom Berenger is on hand fleetingly as Walken's right hand man, and Ed O'Neill cameos as a hesitant member of their crew. Walken holds the film together with his trademark intensity, with a badass, lean sense of purpose that he could portray in his younger days. The action is well choreographed and surprisingly restrained, but it does not manage to top the films more elaborate and clever non-violent editing and camerawork.

Recommended for fans of intense '80s war films more along the lines of Casualties of War and The Killing Fields rather than Red Dawn or The Delta Force.

No comments:

Post a Comment