Review by Tom Swift
An old fashioned WWII film about a secret mission involving brave Americans and incompetent Nazis.
A throwback to war movies before they had to blow up the whole world, War Pigs is most reminiscent of the TV series Combat or submarine movies like Run Silent, Run Deep. There are attractive American heroes with slightly rebellious or sardonic attitudes, minimal production values, and Nazis that make you wonder how they ever conquered Poland.
Running at an hour and a half, War Pigs ends just when you expect the real mission will begin: something like conquer Berlin when Hitler isn’t watching. You know: go all Dirty Dozen with the real pyrotechnics. Never the less, if you’re into this kind of uncomplicated fare and not looking for a Tarantino spin of ultimate gruesomeness, you probably will enjoy this.
The movie starts with an American squadron gunned down in a Nazi ambush. Luke Goss as Lt. Jack Wosick somehow gets blamed for this. Goss brings a quiet integrity to the role that makes you wonder why he doesn’t act all the time, and have his own TV series as an embittered detective.
Mickey Rourke shows up in a cowboy hat as Major A.J. Redding and gives Jack an assignment to redeem himself: find a Nazi supergun. Mickey’s in good form though he looks like he spends all day eating BBQ.
On his heels, Dolph Lundgren enters the picture with a funny little French Foreign Legion hat that he mercifully doesn’t wear much. He grew up near here, speaks German, wants revenge for his parents’ deaths. Mercifully, we don’t visit their graves. The filmmakers avoid mawkishness and sentimentality at every turn – lest they give this a sense of reality.
Luke, Mickey and Dolph need men for the seventeen mile hike to where Intelligence thinks the supergun might be established. They’re soon hooked with the War Pigs: a surly sergeant and grizzled platoon with the requisite newbie eager for battle. They make for an exceptionally good looking platoon: the Nazis might have promoted them as supermen. They get special training in ropes and knives, apparently to pay off dramatic, sorta sadistic Nazi scenes laced with one liners later in the film.
Well, anyway, bing, bang, boom, our heroes more or less waltz into the Nazi stronghold to rescue the surly sergeant and newbie captured earlier in the film. They have a German tank and half-track that a battalion of Nazis almost give them gratis. I mean there’s a gunfight, but it’s hard to take it seriously. Do they get the supergun that’s sitting right out in the open and looks like something a third rate Army might come up with? I suspect the intent was to evoke The Guns of Navarone.
Many of us grew up on old fashioned war movies. Maybe this will make you feel young – because most of the major players look like they’re ready to be put out to pasture. No doubt the rights had been presold to Eastern Europe.
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