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Re Released True Life account of the French Foreign Legion that really does not star Tom Hardy.
on 4 June 2012
This is a 2002 film that has been re released to shamelessly cash in on the increasingly deserved success of screen hunk, Tom Hardy (`Warrior' etc). It places his name up front but he is not the star. This is the film of the auto biopgraphy by Simon Murray - `Legionnaire'. Murray is played by Paul Fox, who must be related to a side board his acting is so wooden. His previous acting highs have come in the TV soap `Coronation Street' and the voice of Corff the bartender in video game `Dragon Age II'!
Well the plot goes that he gets rebuffed by a lady and in stiff upper lipped fashion he runs off to join the romance of The French Foreign Legion as his hero is Errol Flynn. His timing is pretty off as this coincides with the Algerian awakening for independence and as France has just been kicked out of Vietnam there are not that many places for him to be sent - so Algeria it is.
First he has to suffer boot camp and it is really not a very nice place at all and is actually done rather well. There he meets Mr Hardy playing Dupont a Frenchman. The film follows the ever increasing fractionalisation of the authorities in Algeria as Mr Murray becomes a sort of tourist historian. He goes for walks in the souks and visits mosques to learn about the Islamic culture and it is all a bit cringe worthy, I actually thought this is all a bit history for dummies at one point.
There is some action with explosives and shoot outs and an almost love interest with a certain Nicole - who phoned in her performance. It was all a bit too trite for my liking, if you know zilch about that period of history then this may have more merit as it is there is nothing new to learn here except maybe that if you get jilted then instead of running off to join the French Foreign Legion you may want to consider on line dating as an alternative.
Fans of Tom Hardy will not be that impressed with his on screen time either and there are much better films out there; `Battle for Algiers' being a classic and the less well known `Intimate Enemies' is well worth checking out. In English and some French this is a good book that has made an average film, but if you are still interested then I would advise going pour la rental.