Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Seven Red Berets (1969)

Director: Mario Siciliano

Starring: Ivan Rassibmov, Kirk Morris, Priscilla Drake

More Info: IMDB

Plot: The movie centers around a group of hard as nails mercenaries whose assignment is to penetrate deep into the jungles of the Congo to retrieve Government documents captured by a rebel army. The mercenaries, or red berets as they are called, are made up of a motley bunch of hombres, there's the tough Irishman, the angry and un-social Frenchman, the useless Captain who's trying to save his tattered reputation and a murderous German who is a pro-Nazi.

My Rating: 5.5

Would I watch it again? Nope.

Here's one that sounds like it's going to be fun. Mercs on a mission in the African desert. It's got its moments but they're hampered by a meandering plot with not nearly as much action as you would expect or need.

The biggest problem is that none of the characters are really that interesting. There's nothing in this movie that you haven't seen before. Oh, yes there is. The mercs are attacking an enemy encampment, the kind you see in the desert with mud and straw huts. The tell the French guy (who's only there because he knows how to get through the marshlands - whatever) and the girl (who's only there because she's a nurse - whatever) to stay on the outskirts while they go in to kill everyone in sight and locate the journalist with the important papers, their mission. Frenchy can't handle it and so what does he do in the middle of this massive firefight? He rapes the nurse! Yeah, that makes total fucking sense. WTF? W...T...F? After the firefight has finished she's got her clothes back on and she's running toward the mercs. By the end of the picture she's in love with Frenchy?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Whatever.

Outside of all of that you've got some beautiful shots of the African countryside that go a long way in getting you through the picture. It's not really that bad of a film, it's just not engaging. By the time I got to the end I just didn't care anymore.

I'd give this one a pass and go with the MUCH better DARK OF THE SUN (1968). Now THAT'S how you make a mercs-on-a-mission movie!

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