'Legionnaire', Simon Murray's account of his service in the French Foreign Legion between 1960-65 is one of THE classic military memoirs. He joined during the fag end of the Algerian War and witnessed some interesting times as the French began to fight amongst themselves and Algeria spiralled into chaos in the run up to independence in 1962. Unfortunately you won't get much sense of this from 'Deserter'. Sure, it's a handsome enough production, shot on location in Morocco, which makes the most of its modest budget but the problem lies in the acting, particularly in (I stand corrected) Paul Fox as the lead. Murray was by his own account a callow, naive youth but Fox certainly puts the blank in 'kepi blanc', and Tom Hardy is far more convincing as his friend (and ultimately nemesis) Dupont. The film briefly covers the 1961 army coup attempt and the fascist OAS terrorism in which Legion deserters played a leading role, but the main impression is of Murray as a bystander rather than a participant in history; his 'excursions' into Islamic culture, for example, are toe-curlingly embarrassing. I'd recommend Murray's book unreservedly but the film (which he had a hand in producing) is really only for die-hard Legion enthusiasts.