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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Most Dangerous Road in the World"
Yes 'Route Irish' is the name of the road to Bagdad International Airport, and is seen as the most dangerous road etc. However, we see very little of that and as others have commented, there is very little action indeed, in this film.

Ken Loach is an excellent director and I am a loyal fan, this film though does not really deliver what it promises to do, I may...
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by Tommy Dooley

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
This is a film about personal loss and the effect of combat, but unfortunately this tends to slip behind the outlines of a Death Wish revenge story. From the very beginning of the film the hero acts like he has escaped from a Harry Enfield "Barry, Gary and Terry" sketch, he cooks off at the drop of a hat. His responses are highly neurotic and very aggressive ultimately...
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Charles Vasey


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 9 Sep 2011
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is a film about personal loss and the effect of combat, but unfortunately this tends to slip behind the outlines of a Death Wish revenge story. From the very beginning of the film the hero acts like he has escaped from a Harry Enfield "Barry, Gary and Terry" sketch, he cooks off at the drop of a hat. His responses are highly neurotic and very aggressive ultimately going as far as car-bombing and torture. This gives the film a febrile quality; Fergus appears to be solving the mystery of his chum's death, but do not be fooled, this is not a rational detective story but a descent into sadness and madness. I think the audience needs to be alerted to this a lot earlier in the piece; this is not The Shooter, it's a film about personal tragedy. The effect is that I thought more about its message after watching it than I did during viewing: in some ways its variable mixture of logic and emotion matching that of the hero.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Most Dangerous Road in the World", 24 Jun 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Yes 'Route Irish' is the name of the road to Bagdad International Airport, and is seen as the most dangerous road etc. However, we see very little of that and as others have commented, there is very little action indeed, in this film.

Ken Loach is an excellent director and I am a loyal fan, this film though does not really deliver what it promises to do, I may have been generous in a four star rating. So what is wrong?

Well it is about the death of a private security guard in Iraq (played by `comedian' John Bishop), and his best mate, who does not believe the official version. He sets out to find out who really killed his friend. He has been in a fight and whilst awaiting trial has his passport confiscated, therefore the entire story is based in Liverpool. He uses the internet and meetings with his former bosses to uncover more and more. The previous events are told in periodic flash backs, and are short but important.

This is a story about lies, deception, trust and profit. The private guards are referred to as `soldiers for peace' at one point, and not as soldiers for profit as is more accurate (they are on £10,000 per month). There are references to torture tactics and actual footage of fighting and victims from Iraq, but it does take its time getting there. The acting is all wsell above average and the whole thing is belivable but just a little unfulfilling.

I would like to pour praise on this, but I liked it more for being a Loach film, than being a film in itself. If you are a fan you may find merit here, if you are new to him, then you would be probably best advised to give this one a miss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ROUTE IRISH directed by Ken Loach, 8 July 2014
This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
An ex-SAS soldier in Liverpool suffering from PTSD investigates a private military company after he becomes suspicious about their involvement in the death of his best friend (and fellow soldier) on "Route Irish" in Iraq.

Ignore the box cover -- very little of this is set in Iraq. Really it's the tragic descent into madness and death of a former British soldier suffering from PTSD (the British film industry never makes positive films about the Army).

Like all Ken Loach films, you know what you're going to get. So it's well directed, on an important topic, features lots of good working class actors, is fueled by political anger, and comes across like the distilled contents of the Guardian.

Paul Lavery's script alternates between having the protagonist act brutally and mouthing off like a member of the Socialist Workers Party. Loach meanwhile manipulates edited archive footage in a distinctly unethical fashion.

The depiction of the Iraq War (and the British Army/PMCs) is totally one note: all child-killing and woman-hitting. That's what wrecks the film -- it's such a one-sided rant that it negates every good point with a stupid one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gut busting great film, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
wot a great film fantstic story just watch it and see as a ex royal marine my sorta film if u dont like this there sumert wrong with you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 16 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I enjoyed this film, it was an intriguing insight into what our soldiers have to endure when serving overseas.thank you
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An honourable but flawed exploration of the illegal invasion of Iraq, 7 April 2012
By 
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
There is an element of the Reed's Third Man about this movie in its dealings with the aftermath of war and a conspiracy. It also begins with a funeral when Fergus (Mark Womack) an ex soldier and mercenary shows up to the funeral of his best friend and fellow mercenary Frankie (John Bishop). Finding the accounts of Frankie's death in Iraq unsatisfying, Fergus starts his own investigation.

The purpose of this movie is considerably more political than Carol Reed's earlier masterpiece, exploring the devastation brought on Iraq by the 2003 invasion and particularly by the invading forces profligate use of mercenaries. The hypocrisy of the west is also touched upon: as an Iraqi character Harim (Talib Rasool) indicates - thousands of Iraqis were murdered as a consequence of the invasion, what makes the killings at the core of this movie interesting to Fergus, and by extension the audience, is that one of the casualties was British.

Mark Womack delivers a frentic performance in this movie as a man driven to murderous rage by guilt. Andrea Lowe is a more nuanced presence delivering a beautifully subtle performance as Frankie's widow, Rachel. Fergus's fury echoes that of the movie itself, rendering both, at moments, less articulate and coherent that one would hope. Still the movie is an honourable exploration of the consequences of the illegal invasion of Iraq by a director, Ken Loach, whose work has consistently embodied what is best about British society.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KEN LOACH- ANOTHER CLASSIC MOVIE, 21 Jan 2012
By 
S. Taylor "Mossy" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I hate the word 'gritty' when applied to drama-documentary work, I prefer words like 'edgy' and 'compulsive viewing,' terms which can certainly be applied to the latest DVD offering of Ken Loach's work.

In the movie, actor Mark Womack seeks to avenge the death of his mate Frankie- another straight acting success for Liverpool comic John Bishop- who is killed operating on 'Route Irish,' an exceptionally dangerous stretch of road from Baghdad Airport to the city.

It's not always easy viewing, but along with Andrea Lowe as Frankie's widow, this is a believable ensemble piece from a great cast, with a director & producer I would give anything to work for.

Deserves five stars. Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DVD, 28 Jun 2014
This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Delivered as promised and looking forward to watching it
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad ...but not so good, 30 May 2011
By 
V. Morgan "A Sad Boring Pedant ..." (York, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Loach is uncharacteristically lazy in this film. The bad guys are BAD GUYS!!! The rest are weak, impotent, manipulated, poor, uneducated and lacking in character....

The film lacks light and shade and unusually for Loach any kind of political or social complexity. The characters are generally lazily drawn and no amount of good acting - and there is - can save the film from that.

Another reviewer mentions the Green Zone... another Iraq film that failed due to its lack of ambition and its lack of trust that its audience had a brain. Loach makes the same mistake here. Its far too much like a lecture to be entertaining and seems to lack any desire to engage the audience dramatically either.

Its not a bad film but it highlights Loaches flaws as a film maker rather than his talents.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, 27 May 2011
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This review is from: Route Irish [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I must have seen another Route Irish from another Ken Loach then.

The film was a total disappointment. On the good side I will concede it has a fairly intricate plot and it gives an insight into the miserable lives of former British mercenaries perhaps, but it's a film that moves at snail pace speed with barely 2 minutes of total film action taking place in Iraq. The scenes just drag on and on an on, and 99% of the film seems to happen in London pubs, apartments and hotels. That would be fine if it wasn't for the cover: I mean look at it, presented like some action thriller with social and political message. None of it appears in the film: no action at all, no political or social message (other than tacit mentions to "contracts" in Iraq, hardly news as we all know about that) but plenty of "pity" images of an alcoholic former SAS running in his apartment, shagging his buddy's widow, etc. I know I know, someone going to read this and think "you prefer some adrenalin Hollywood blockbuster?". My answer to that will be a resounding no, but this is how low Route Irish is: the film Green Zone, with Matt Demon, is without any shred of doubt, far better made, far better scriptwritten, far more informative than Route Irish.

Another irritating note is how Ken Loach has decided to receive acclaim by "highlighting" the drama of the mercenaries side while dedicating less than 120 seconds of footage for those other people... what was their name... oh yes, Iraqis, isn't it? The film would have been very worthy if we condensed Ken Loach's approach to about 20 minutes and leave the rest to an Iraqi who can perhaps shed some sort of empathy on the other side of the story, the one Ken Loach has decided was not really worth putting in the film.

Funny how one of the 5 star reviews is from someone who worked on the film. He says that no expense was spared: you mean on beer and boat rides around London? T
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Route Irish [DVD] [2010]
Route Irish [DVD] [2010] by Ken Loach (DVD - 2011)
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