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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best mercenary movie ever
Ignore the one-star-rubbish reviews. I also read The Dogs of War and, yes, it's a condensation, but it has to be. It's a movie for god's sake!

And as a movie, The Dogs of War is excellent. It comes under the rubric of action-suspense. Much of it is taken up with the suspense leading to a brilliant action pay-off. Christopher Walken is terrific. He is a...
Published 18 months ago by Jack Rice

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cry havoc...
The Dogs of War is part of that subgenre of war movies that briefly blossomed in the late-sixties and seventies but found little favor in subsequent years, the story about the ageing mercenary who suffers a crisis of conscience (Dark of the Sun, The Wild Geese, Savior etc). It was also the last significant attempt to turn Christopher Walken into a mainstream leading man...
Published on 10 Nov 2007 by Trevor Willsmer


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cry havoc..., 10 Nov 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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The Dogs of War is part of that subgenre of war movies that briefly blossomed in the late-sixties and seventies but found little favor in subsequent years, the story about the ageing mercenary who suffers a crisis of conscience (Dark of the Sun, The Wild Geese, Savior etc). It was also the last significant attempt to turn Christopher Walken into a mainstream leading man in the Brando mould on the back of his Deer Hunter Oscar, with the trailer and marketing almost ignoring co-stars Tom Berenger and, despite delivering the film's best performance as a cynical documentary filmmaker, Colin Blakely. Certainly Walken takes a beating as convincingly as Brando, though the public weren't biting in 1981.

Frederick Forsyth's novel gained much notoriety due to the excessive lengths he went to in researching it - few writers would actually invest in a hastily abandoned African coup d'etat to get the inside details right, though it seems Forsyth did just that. As a result, the film goes to great lengths to stress its veracity, with director John Irvin, still hot after the success of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, adopting the stripped-down near documentary style that served Fred Zinnemann so well with The Day of the Jackal. Irvin's subsequent work would sadly mark him out as one of the flattest action directors in the business, but here - perhaps leaning on the experience of cinematographer Jack Cardiff, who also directed Dark of the Sun - he delivers the goods surprisingly effectively. Underneath all the gritty pseudo-realism it's a very familiar story (Winston Ntshona practically plays the same role here as an imprisoned deposed president that he did in the more Boys' Own The Wild Geese three years earlier), but it's well told - or at least in the two-hour European cut of the film which, perversely, is only available on DVD in the US, and there in a version with dodgy synchronisation in the early scenes: Europe has to make do with the cut US version shorn of 16 minutes. Geoffrey Burgon's score makes good use of A.E. Housman's Epitaph On An Army of Mercenaries while among the familiar faces in the supporting cast can be spotted Paul Freeman, Ed O'Neill, Jim Broadbent (as one of Blakely's film crew), Victoria Tennant and an unbilled Helen Shaver, though aside from Blakely, the standout performance probably comes from Hugh Millais' cold-fish middle man.

Once again, bear in mind that the US NTSC DVD is the uncut European version of the film, while the UK PAL DVD is the cut US version!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best mercenary movie ever, 13 Jan 2013
By 
Jack Rice (California, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
Ignore the one-star-rubbish reviews. I also read The Dogs of War and, yes, it's a condensation, but it has to be. It's a movie for god's sake!

And as a movie, The Dogs of War is excellent. It comes under the rubric of action-suspense. Much of it is taken up with the suspense leading to a brilliant action pay-off. Christopher Walken is terrific. He is a unique blend of delicacy of look but ruthlessness of manner, much like Edward Fox's anti-hero of Day of the Jackal, also by Frederick Forsyth. The supporting cast is perfect. Though some think the movie drags, I think all the sequences were useful in developing character (Walken's) and story. The detailed look we get of the formation of a mercenary venture is fascinating. The cinematography is brilliant, thanks to the great Jack Cardiff. The special effects are quite realistic, i.e. realistic enough not to be a distraction.

And here's my favourite quality of this movie: It's perhaps the most realistic, most chilling portrait of a fetid, corrupt and depraved African country I have ever seen. It should be noted that the model is Equatorial Guinea, the location of a real coup in 2004 and, more important, a coup, in 1973 in which Forsyth himself participated.

The Dogs of War is one of the best movies of its genre and perhaps the best movie about mercenaries ever.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Zangaro, 25 May 2008
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
Christopher Walken plays the sentimental but tough mercenary in this film of Fredrick Forsyth's novel. Forsyth, who coverered Biafra, knows whereof he speaks on mercenary warfare especially of this era before the large corporates got involved. The Republic of Zangaro is a mixture of a number of African states under a Big Man before the era of Hobbesian chaos that you'll find in Blood Diamond. Although this is not a film with a message it nevertheless demonstrates how unpleasant such places are, especially as our hero falls into the hands of the Army and gets a spell in jail. Backed up by a number of excellent character actors this film stays firmly rooted in a ruthless but pre-Rambo realism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another gift, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
Good value and suitable for the purpose, it is a Christmas gift that am sure the person will enjoy once given opportunity to watch it
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soldier of Fortune, 13 July 2002
This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
I can't recall a film in which Walken gave a bad performance and this film is no exception. The story is simple but ultimately very satisfying (particularly the last sequence), and generally revolves around a band of mercenaries who are hired to carry out a coup in some African state. There is a slightly cliched presentation of African politics although you can't expect Hollywood movies to be intelligent too!
Ultimately, it's a good 'war' movie with decent effects and a plot.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unleash!, 12 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
The Dogs of war is an exellent film with Chtistopher walken fantastic in the leading role. This is my favourite Christopher Walken film closely followed by The Dead Zone and The Deer Hunter. If you like The Wild Geese and the more recent the Expendables then you'll love The Dogs of War. This film also stars Tom Berenger in a smaller but significant role that I'm sure helped him get cast as Barnes in oliver Stones Platoon. This film has a great cast, pace and music score. It also has an international feel with American, European and African locations.
I have read that there is a longer cut of this film(which I may have seen years ago on late night T.V.) but as the only version available on DVD I'd still recommend purchasing this DVD as you don't notice any bad cuts and the film to me seems perfect. I'm still intrigued to see the longer cut(again maybe?) at some point if it ever becomes available, but I'm perfectly happy with this edition.
The DVD is a quality 16:9 widescreen ratio 1:85:1 with good picture and sound.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a violent video, 6 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this video because I wanted to watch it. No accounting fot taste. I knew it's contents and enjoyed it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dogs of War, 30 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
The film was very good but it was not true to the book.The story was set in London in the book not the U.S.A.But the action was bood
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dogs of war, 12 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Dogs Of War [DVD] (DVD)
a great film from a young tom berenger well worth watching keeps u glued from start 2 finish good value
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The Dogs Of War [DVD]
The Dogs Of War [DVD] by John Irvin (DVD - 2002)
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