Saturday, August 4, 2012

LIVE: Age of Heroes

I will tweet not only when I post, but whenever I watch a new war movie I will tweet a mini-review.  Also, please follow my compadre: @AboutWarMovies
This is my third "Live" review.  A live review is a stream of consciousness review of a movie.  I jot down thoughts as I am watching and then clean them up for my readers.  Being a big Sean Bean fan I was attracted to a recent movie of his entitled "Age of Heroes".  SPOILER ALERT:  I cover the whole movie, stop wherever you want and then jump to the last paragraph.  Here goes:

Credits - I don't recognize anyone but Bean  /  France May, 1940;  hand held, looks like "Lost Battalion" style;  5 Brits on the run, none is SB;  the wounded one gets killed - convenient for more rapid movement;  the obligatory "we're all gonna die" dude  /  they run into some other Brits led by a stuffy twit of an officer - he orders them to stay and join their last stand because he has been ordered to hold;  Raines insists its suicidal and plans to move on to Dunkirk (he's not a coward, he's just sensible) - head butts the twit;  wasn't the twit right?  orders is orders - you can't have the enlisted deciding what makes sense  /  Naval Institute at White Hall -  there's SB (he's looking kinda old, I guess so am I);  he's a Maj. Jones of the Royal Marines - he's ruffled feathers, naturally;  an intel type named Fleming (I later found out it's Ian) tells him of Operation Grendal and introduces him to an American (first Where Eagles Dare (WED from here) ripoff) named Steinar;  something about German radar taking out British bombers ( you know - this mission will win the war);  all they have to do is infiltrate Norway and steal radar technology (wait - didn't the British have a clear advantage in radar technolgy?);  subgenre - suicide mission!;  some uncomfortable looks from Fleming when he asks about Jones' pregnant wife (or is the dude just constipated?)  /  Grace does not want Jones to go (baby on the way is war movie speak for you ain't coming back)  /  Jones goes to a military prison (with the requisite sadistic guards) to pick up one of his select team (Sid);  Raines is there because of his head butting the officer, he wants to be a commando too so he grabs a gun and takes Jones hostage which of course wins Jones' admiration (?) and a spot on the team (if he promises to behave)  /  training segment -  the sergeant (Mac) is a tough SOB who will make men of them;  6 guys besides Mac and Jones - who will survive?  not many, I bet;  time for a montage - hiking, rapeling, boxing, etc.;  "Pain is just weakness leaving the body" (I think I'll use that in the weight room);  Raines screws up by being a crack shot, but a dick about it - Jones almost washes him out but then he wouldn't get redemption, would he?  /  Fleming comes to brief and brings a radar geek with him - it's actually a anti-jamming device they are going after and he will know it when he sees it;  Fleming to Jones - don't let geek get captured, Fleming to Raines - kill geek if it comes to it;  mission outlined - I wonder if everything will go according to plan  /  paradrop without parachute training (these guys are hard core);  glitch #1 -  German night fighter Swiss cheeses plane and an expendable is killed (suddenly, nice touch) one down  /  glitch #2 - they land far off course;  glitch #3 - they lost most of their equipment;  snow on the ground (WED) and broken neck (WED);  geek is already captured - end of movie?  nope, he's rescued;  they are being tracked (easily what with the lack of white gear) by a handsome, charming, but malevolent Nazi  the movie has subtitles - a bit too classy for this movie;  they meet their contact - it's a girl! (WED)  she's cute, but can she be trusted?;  she takes them to a farm to get explosives - the farmer is less than thrilled considering their tracks in the snow lead right to his family (sorry, dude - be a patriot)  /  after they leave the Germans arrive, they wouldn't kill that lovely family would they - the music says yes;  wow, that's some serious killing - I hate that German and can't wait for his bloody death  /  the radar site -  checking things out via binocular;  explosions via dynamite for distracting (WED);  lots of dead Germans (WED), our guys seem charmed;  geek gets the intel;  oh there goes someone and another is captured (who? can't tell) - down to 7 now;  no naval pick-up, have to go to Sweden (Christ, what next?!)  /  return to the farm - hey, where is everyone?;  Nazis arrive and they have Sid and torture him to get them to come out meanwhile they stand in the open clearly shootable;  Jones opens fire but neglects to target Nazi guy (drat!);  fire fight - no grenades because the Germans want to take them alive;  Jones shoots Sid (6 left) to put him out of his misery (anguished look)  /  escaping -  Steinar is killed; Raines prepares to slash throat when geek and girl (disobeying orders, of course) come rescue him because he is not redeemed yet;  Jones and Mac stay as rear guard and argue who will sacrifice themself, neither convinces the other (looks bad for Jones' newborn)  /  jump to Raines, geek, and girl on top of a mountain - "that's Sweden";  swelling music - the end;  30% survival rate - pretty standard;  hey, what about the bloody death of the Nazi?  boo!  Well, at least we did not have to see Bean die.

Entertaining B-movie.  Pretty well acted (especially Bean, of course!)  Poor character development, we don't learn much about the men and thus do not care.  The cinematography is actually above average.  Action is satisfactory and inconsistently graphic.  Unsatisfactory ending (did they run out of film?)  Typical dialogue.  No comic relief - take's itself too seriously.  Unobtrusive sound track.  Watch it if you are a man and don't have anything better to do.

grade =  C

the trailer

the whole movie



  1. Thanks for the publicity.
    I totally agree with your assessment. Good B-movie that's all. I thought Sean Bean looked a bit rough and read later he had the flu all through the filming....
    OK, that's not the worst, I really thought it was a weird ending. It would only make sense if there was a sequel.
    Still, I didn't mind watching it and if it's only for Sean Bean.

  2. the war movie buffAugust 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    The flu would explain a lot. It did fit the pattern of Sean dying.

  3. I like the style of this review....really innovative...Age of Heroes started slow & it had little character development. Even though the action looked realistic in comparison to other movies, the story fell short with a rushed ending leaving few questions answered..or I was expecting way too much. I think Sean Bean was good but his acting was way better in LOTR series

  4. the war movie buffAugust 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Thank you very much. As far as your points - spot on. Bean looks much more lively in Game of Thrones which I assume he made around or even after this movie.

  5. WTF, nobody shoots the Nazi? He's standing in the open when they first open fire from cover. Don't they teach them to shoot the officers first? He shoots Sid instead? He could have at least shot both of them.

  6. Not a man, but I watched it. Doesn't really flow as well as I would have liked, but its a war movie. Of course hate the Germans, with no satisfactory killing of them.

    1. You don't have to be a man to enjoy war movies. My mentor at "All About War" movies is female. You should check out her blog.

  7. Another good action Bean film is the British film Cleanskin, in which he plays a less than by the rules MI5 operative hunting an IS type cell in London. For a modest budget, its very well done, also starring Charlotte Rampling.

  8. I noted a sweary line from the Scottish instructor (ironically played by an Ulsterman), was nicked from The Wild Geese!. LOL


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