The Patrol (2013)

This was billed as the UK's answer to The Hurt Locker. I wasn't a huge fan of The Hurt Locker, and I'm not a huge fan of this movie, so I guess they succeeded in that aspect. Aside from that, they pretty much miss the mark on the meager bits that The Hurt Locker got right. There is no action to speak of, and there is little of interest that goes on. I'm unsure if this is supposed to be a true story, but I can't imagine it is.

This patrol of British soldiers starts off already past their 3-day plan. There is no explanation given to the audience or to the soldiers as to why they have to stay out past their normal rotation, and that adds to the tension in the group. Tension is really what they go for in this movie. There is the possibility that someone will attack them, and we never see one of them. I'm not saying there isn't an exchange of gunfire, but we never actually see an enemy.

Instead, we have a group of the most insubordinate and whiny soldiers you have ever seen grace the screen. They mouth off to their superiors, disobey orders, and complain about 90% of the time they are on screen. It is insane to think that these people would ever be a cohesive fighting unit or that they would be fit for active duty. We see a lot of interpersonal stuff happen in this movie, and it is only when they post at the bottom of the screen how many days they have been on patrol that you realize that they really haven't been gone for that long.

This movie says it won an award, but I can't figure out why. It was written, produced, and directed by the same guy, and he was in the army, so he really should know that this kind of crap would not be tolerated by any military. At least, that's my understanding from the military guys I know. It's possible the British military has more relaxed standards, but I doubt it. I've talked to a couple of those guys, and they don't seem any more accepting of bellyaching than the US guys.

The acting in this more was mixed, but mostly not great. The only guy I remember being particularly good was the Nicholas Beveney who played the Sergeant. Really, his only emotions were anger and meanness. BUT, he did a good job of getting them across. The other guys, particularly the Captain played by Ben Righton, were pretty crappy.

Dialogue was not that bad at times. For example, there was good discussion on the reliability of rifles
Direction was bad
Story was crap
Cinematography was good
Acting was bad

Bottom Line: War movie guys will hate it. Drama lovers will... hate it. Honestly, it's just not good.



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