I’m a sucker for a good military flick, especially dealing with the Afghanistan war. Writer and director Tom Petch has put forth a film that captures life in the British military in his film “The Patrol”. This is not a guns blazing, rockets exploding everywhere type of film that is usually shown. “The Patrol” slows it all down and shows a much darker side to military occupation.In the film, a Special Forces operation called Operation Icarus is going and a group of British soldiers are sent out on patrol. What should have been a three day operation has stretched into almost two weeks. Running low on ammunition, rations, and patience, morale plummets and the squad falls into petty squabbling. The squabbling soon escalates into dangerous territory in an effort to force the hands of their superiors in hopes of being sent home; all the while they are still dealing with unseen aggressors. While this film certainly isn’t the standard military movie, it should be. Operations like this aren’t always action-packed. Soldiers still deal with a lot of down time, which gives them more of an opportunity to think about things they are missing from home. Tom Petch, who himself served eight years in the British military, cracks open the Hoorah exterior people are used to seeing and showing more of what soldiers have to deal with using a documentary-style insight. At times it is hard to watch- especially knowing that their situations are being lived my thousands of soldiers worldwide, and most of them are just kids.
“The Patrol” is now available on DVD.