Bullet Points: War Pigs
The Dirty Dozen is a film that is filled to the brim with macho badasses who could probably do some real damage given the opportunity in combat. I know that if you put Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, and Jim Brown on one side and the entire cast of most of today’s war movies, I would take the previously mentioned hardasses any day of the week. There just appears to be a massive void in filmmaking these days when it comes to legitimate and believable tough guys. War Pigs has found a couple of them; Luke Goss and the man of honor himself, Dolph Lundgren. They’re the only real bright spots in a movie that’s most positive aspect is its short runtime.
Luke Goss is somewhat of a direct to video Jason Statham but without all the cool martial arts. Much like the role he plays in the film, Dolph’s biggest contribution to the film is his leadership. Each scene that he appears in is instantly made better by his steely gaze and excellent hair. Lundgren has an air of manliness that the other team members lack and it feels like his placement in that role is easily the smartest move that the filmmakers made.
Synopsis: Disgraced World War 2 Army Captain Jack Wosick (Goss) is given the opportunity for redemption when asked to lead a rag-tag unit of misfits known as the War Pigs on a secret mission to go behind enemy lines to uncover and capture a Nazi developed Super Weapon, the V3, a massive artillery canon that would give the Nazis an insurmountable advantage against the Allies. With the help of Captain Hans Picault (Lundgren), a German Anti-Nazi serving with the French Foreign Legion and Colonel AJ Redding (Mickey Rourke), a battle hardened WW1 veteran, Jack must train, lead and earn the respect of his new squad to become a functioning reconnaissance unit.
- The Iceman: Even though former UFC knockout artist Chuck Liddell receives billing near the top, he doesn’t spend much time in front of the camera. The moment he came onscreen I immediately thought he would die soon because he didn’t even go through the trouble of shaving off his trademark handlebar mustache.
- CGI: One of the first things that I noticed when the action started was the CGI bullet holes, wounds, and muzzle flashes coming from the guns. It was partly noticeable because the camera spend too much time on the effects but also because I absolutely hate that shit and spotted it like it was a sexy bikini clad chick at the city pool.
- Oh Mickey you’re so fine: Mickey Rourke looks like Leatherface. Someone give that man a chainsaw and cast him in the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre!
- Not a Band of Brothers: The guys in this movie, who call themselves “War Pigs” (they like to roll in the mud?), are complete pussies compared to the ultra-realistic HBO series Band of Brothers. There are so many poorly done groups of military guys and this movie falls into the same mistakes as those ones. Can we stop casting these who look more like KOHL’S models and get some dudes who can take a punch?
- Train, Train, Train: When Luke Goss and Dolph Lundgren first meet their new crew of men, they pretty much immediately take to running their guts out and teaching them skills that seem absolutely useless (guess what, they aren’t). If I was awaiting a secret mission and was near enemy lines I probably wouldn’t have my troops running up and down hills carrying sandbags and fighting each other with knives.
- Naked Models: She wasn’t a KOHL’S model but some random from a local town. You see, Dolph is so hardcore that instead of just having his guys sketching landscape or fruit in preparation for their reconnaissance mission, he brings in a naked broad and lets them mind rape her for a while. I’m pretty sure that their sketches weren’t amazingly accurate.
- That’s not how grenades work: For once I’d like to see a movie that actually knows what grenades do in real life.
- A Carton a Day: Luke Goss’s acting in this movie must have required at least a carton of cigarettes a day.
- Unit Patch: When the men finally get their patch to put on their uniforms I was expecting to see some sort of pig. What I got instead was a horribly looking skull. Shouldn’t they have just had a bloody pig or a pig holding a spear or something?
- Dolph never lets us down: Like the action hero that he is, when the shit really hits the fan at the end of the film Lundgren wields a pump shotgun with the accuracy of a squirrel blasting .22 rifle. Don’t expect to see Dolph use his martial arts skills but I’ll never get tired of seeing a bunch of Nazi’s getting blasted.
The Verdict: The best way for me to describe my thoughts on War Pigs is to say that it feels like episode 3 of a 12 episode series. The film spends 2/3’s of its time trying to set up this squad of misfits and besides Dolph and Luke Goss it is mostly a failed attempt. They guys never really feel like soldiers and nothing about them screams “pick these guys for a secret recon mission”. Movies like The Dirty Dozen or Soldier Boyz plays off the of the same expendable soldiers trope but War Pigs doesn’t quite understand why those movies are entertaining. It could have been a much better movie if they had spent more time with Dolph and Goss but instead we got a bunch of fresh faced pretty boys who could barely hold their rifles straight. Skip it, even on Dolph’s birthday.