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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Route Irish [DVD] [2010]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£7.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 24 June 2011
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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on 8 March 2017
Bad acting. Hysterical acting style. Loach should stick to social dramas. This film lacks depth though it tries to examine predicaments faced by pvt security contractors
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 9 September 2011
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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on 17 June 2013
good film.
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on 28 June 2014
Delivered as promised and looking forward to watching it
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on 27 March 2015
excellent value and quality
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on 22 December 2015
good buy
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on 14 December 2014
very good movie no complaints
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on 27 May 2011
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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on 11 April 2016
It says on the packaging: "fast-paced conspiracy thriller that delivers a fresh insight into the moral and political corruption at play in Iraq". Fast paced? No. Thriller? Hardly. Fresh insight? Yes, probably for the movie makers, though I suspect most of the audience have known about corruption in security for years. This is a movie about how the commercial interests of security firms gets in the way of some lives - Iraqi and, it would appear, its own.

Interestingly, for a movie of this nature, almost all of it occurs in the UK, contrary to the film title and the background context, with investigations and communications conducted long distance. Though possibly done for cost reasons, the effect if clever in that it has to weave the violence of everyday Iraq into the normality of the UK.

In summary, the script is clever but the story line is somewhat slow and dreary. The acting was alright but then the actors were hardly tested given the format. And the ending, for me, is rather over dramatic and probably - I do not know, not having been in such a situation - unrealistic.
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