Director: Stéphane Rybojad
Cast: Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou, Benoît Magimel, Denis Menochet, Raphaël Personnaz
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.facebook.com/forcesspeciales
Opening Day: 5 January 2012
Synopsis: Afghanistan. War correspondent Elsa Casanova is taken hostage by the Taliban. Faced with her imminent execution, a Special Forces unit is dispatched to free her. In some of the world’s most breathtaking yet hostile landscapes, a relentless pursuit begins between her kidnappers who have no intention of letting their prey escape them and a group of soldiers who risk their lives in pursuit of their single aim – to bring her home alive. This strong, independent woman and these men of duty are thrown together and forced to confront situations of great danger that inextricably bind them – emotionally, violently and intimately.
Helming as the new instalment of Black Hawk down of this decade. Sure there are plenty around to savour and put side by side to compare just how big their, ahem, strength in story are, but are they as or any good as the classic of yesterdays? In a nutshell, Special Forces doesn’t quite hit that sweet spot of male testosterone amped up plot line but has it’s potential which unfortunately didn’t quite sit well as i expected.
In a nutshell, Special forces plays out like a giant commercial of the French forces, which by all means not a negative thing, we’ve seen and experience it all beforehand in abundance with the American ones. Summing it up in one sentence. A group of French special force goes on a rescue mission for a french journalist who is kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan. No twist or turn. No covert mission. Just nothing but straight to the point, “get in and get out” satire. Well of course there would be deaths along the way and the constructed framing of brotherhood camaraderie. All though out the film, the quote Leave no man behind kept running in my head and realise its kinda sad that any war/rescue mission themed film will always be compared to the ever unforgettable film by Ridley Scott. But alas, in my book, very little indeed has surpass that bar of expectation. Or perhaps i need to watch more war films.
Co-written and directed by new comer, Stéphane Rybojad, with only a short film and a tv documentary, it’s rather impressive to see such work in his belt of career. Braving the mass shooting locations of the mountains, desert and such, kinda wonder where his path will lead us in the future. Leading up the team of bravado's, Djimon Hounsou and his six men travel the impossible, escaping the treacherous landscape with massive weaponry in hand. For those who heed the other way upon knowing that such manly film is mostly in French, do not despair as its a no brainer film where action speaks louder than words. Aside from Djimon, most of the cast are rather unknowns, unless you frequent french films. Even knowing that these men may be unknowns to much for us local movie goers does not mean that talent is lacking but rather quite the opposite. For an action film, emotion do run high, with the sadness of your team mates dying or even a flirting humorous moment with the rescuee. None of the action was made overly dramatic (well maybe some) but it didn’t overpower the believability and strength which was very much an advantage to the nature of the film, in compared to the American counterpart.
As mention of the natural conveying of emotion of the actors in such situation, the overall feel of the film drastically changed the view of the setup. It may however be a double edge sword for the film as in one side, the realism and connection of how real uniform forces were portrayed would somehow appeal to the govern body and enhanced the appeal but on the other side, the lack of such commercial value (big explosion and one-hand trotting gun blazing) which may be expected from normal movie goers will disappoint such expectation and garner lesser favours to spread such good value film. Nonetheless, Special Forces stays in its own class, recommendable to a major salute.
(Aside from the gun blazing moment of bravery, it lacked a certain pointers to bring it to the next level)
Review by Lokman B S