War is hell. It’s also a bore in “Special Forces.” This French action film about a kidnapping in Afghanistan is just one poorly staged firefight after another.
War correspondent Elsa Casanova (Diane Kruger) is taken hostage after writing an article about a local warlord she describes as the “Butcher of Kabul.” The militant leader doesn’t take kindly to his new international fame and kills Casanova’s source in front of her. He then takes Elsa to his hideout where he tortures her and demands a retraction.
The French decide to rescue Elsa and dispatch a commando unit led by Kovax (Djimon Hounsou). Elsa is freed by the soldiers from the warlord’s Pakistani hideout. And, when the operation goes amiss, the commandos attempt to transport Elsa over the mountains into Afghanistan. At this point, “Special Forces” becomes one big chase sequence.
In the movie world, France is not exactly known for its commando units. And, this film will not better its reputation. Director Stephane Rybojad fails to tell a compelling story. The scenes with the soldiers bonding before the mission fall flat. And, the battle scenes are downright embarrassing. Neither side takes cover during the firefights. They charge each in scene after scene like their reenacting an ancient war battle. It’s downright silly. You’ve got mountains, hills and giant rocks to hide behind, but nobody takes cover. Hmm.
“Special Forces” has nothing constructive to say about bravery or the conflict in Afghanistan. It’s just mindless action, and boring to boot. Grade: D-
Street Date: February 19, 2013
Format: Blu-ray/DVD combo
Runtime: 109 minutes
Released by EntertainmentOne