A made-for-TV adaptation of Andy McNab's best-selling Bravo Two Zero
--his account of a covert SAS mission in the Gulf War gone wrong. Sean Bean plays McNab, part of an eight-man team dropped behind enemy lines to sever communications lines. Things inevitably go wrong, however, and the team are captured and tortured, before making a variety of daring and amazing escapes. The story on which this film is based is certainly stirring, but it suffers from being generically at odds with the production values of a TV adaptation. The acting is wooden and the budget cannot provide the pyrotechnics or thrilling action sequences which action or war junkies may demand. At some points there are even unsuccessful attempts to blend parts of the staged drama with real documentary news footage. One might argue that the presentation of the SAS team as everyday, emotionally stunted lads, and their mission as gritty, downbeat and devoid of glamour is perhaps quite true to real-life events. It is also a huge novelty to see cinematic acknowledgement of British forces' participation in any conflict occurring in the last century. On the other hand, Bravo Two Zero
undoubtedly appears quite dour when placed alongside a more flashy, Hollywood offering such as Three Kings. Nevertheless, SAS aficionados and fans of the novel will enjoy it immensely, if only to look at the way in which McNab's account presents Chris Ryan--author of a drastically different film and novel version of this incident, The One That Got Away--as a posturing, image-conscious coward. --Paul Philpott
Former SAS sergeant Andy McNab co-scripts this drama, based on his own experiences in the Gulf War. In January 1991, an eight-man SAS team infiltrate the Iraqi lines, with the purpose of taking out the scud missiles aimed by Saddam Hussein at Tel Aviv. In charge is Sergeant McNab (Sean Bean), who has to think fast when his squad are surrounded by two divisions of Iraqi troops, with no radio contact and sub-zero temperatures freezing their fuel supplies.