Monday, May 30, 2016

The Dogs of War (1980)

Synopsis: Tough-but-decent mercenaries free humanitarian leader from African prison only to be stabbed in the back by their greedy backers. Oh wait, wasn't that the synopsis for The Wild Geese?

Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Jamie Shannon (Christopher Walken) is a cynical warrior-for-hire who feels truly alive only in the heat of battle, and now he’s about to take on the most challenging assignment of his career: to invade a corrupt African dictatorship and shift control to the ‘puppet’ of a powerful British corporation.” 

What Did I Learn?: 1) The “XM-18”/Manville Gun is the coolest thing ever created, and now I totally want one. 2) Apparently, it’s possible to overthrow a corrupt, and thoroughly-rotten Third World regime with a handful of Western mercenaries and about 25 heavily-armed local goons, no air support, and the element of surprise. 

Really?: 1) See: “What Did I Learn,” #2. 2) So wait – the mercenaries murder a spy who was hired by their employer, place him in the Big Cheese’s study, and not only doesn’t he show any sort of reaction upon discovering the corpse, but it leads to no further consequences. What was the point?

Rating: The Dogs of War is a surprisingly suspenseful early-1980s thriller that suffers from a slow build-up and some inconsistent pacing. Check it out if you want to watch Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger blow some shit up. 8/10 stars.

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