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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2014
great
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on 13 March 2017
I'm not sure I'm properly qualified to give an accurate review of this film as I am not soldier. It'd be interesting to see the verdict of a real SAS member who's been through the training.
It is a watchable film, if perhaps a little 'tame'.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 April 2014
The shooting style is quite different, almost a blend of docudrama and motion picture.The harsh landscape could've done with a more artful cinematographer to bring out its rugged and unforgiving nature. There are plenty of landscape shots but as a viewer they kept me distant when I really needed to feel the footfalls in the snow and ice on my breath.

Ronnie Thompson took on a impossible task, a film of this nature has to revisit elements of Ultimate Force and Who Dares Wins, both of which were well received and criticised in equal merit; UF was a popcorn piece whilst WDW erred towards the espionage angle rather than acton, neither of them pleased everybody. We've also had the ground breaking SAS "are you tough enough" series which was pretty compelling viewing for anyone with a passing interest. Added to that are comparisons with every similar movie made across the pond, The Finest Hour, Full Metal Jacket and GI Jane etc cover similar ground of recruitment and selection culminating in a military operation. I considered all of these past viewings while I watched the strangely titled I am Soldier.

As an accompaniment to the myriad of books on SAS selection this does a decent enough job. There are patches of dark humour; prospective recruits being directed to a derelict pub raised a wry smile. The parts of selection that we do get to see are well filmed, in good locations and we also get a couple of cast members we can actually invest in. Cliche is inevitable and although the story trods a few well worn paths they don't spoil things. My initial casting reservations were swept aside, Noel Clarke held a surprising amount of gravitas and was able to pull off the instructor role - I particularly like the moment when a candidate asks a spanner of a queston and Clarke just silently glares at him before carrying on. Alex Reid is a welcome addition, besides being able to act, she decorates the proceedings and also gets the best mission kill. Speaking of the mission, it's shoehorned into the screenplay with a couple of exposition scenes during the training segment; on paper its fine, the screenplay gives us a firefight and then like every action movie, some hand to hand combat.

If I'm honest, the mission segment is a little "small screen" which is odd because the training segment had enough budget to bring in three Chinooks - unless they were CGI which is even more impressive.

With the amount of written material currently covering the subject I can't imagine any movie giving us something genuinely new but this at least has a good go at offering a British perspective amongst some of the glamorised stuff churned out by Hollywood. After reading the polarised views of this movie I managed my expectations and went in well informed and whilst I didn't think it was brilliant, I'm glad I watched this all the same. I've not seen any of Ronnie Thompsons other work but I'm looking forward to watching Screwed and Tower Block.
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on 20 November 2015
It starts off well and you think it'll be not bad for a fairly low budget straight to dvd British film, and if it had stayed a film just about SAS selection then it would have been pretty watchable but after he passes and goes on his first mission( sorry for the spoiler) it turns into an absolutely awful, poorly written and poorly acted embarrassing farce. It's like the writer gave up half way through and rushed the ending. The action scenes are dreadful and it's clear whoever was behind this film gleamed all their information from books and youtube and never bothered to think about hiring any ex SAS personnel as technical advisors.
Noel Clarke is a pretty decent actor and the pay cheque must have been pretty good for him to involve himself in this nonsense
Also don't be worried like I was when you see it stars Alex Reid as it's not Katie 'Jordan' Prices cross-dressing,cage fighting ex-boyfriend of tabloid fame but a pretty decent ( and pretty fit looking) female actress.
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on 17 April 2014
Bit more of a documentary than a film... And not really a good one , that would make me want to join the SAS......Not what I expected.... Bit disappointed :
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I really wanted to love this. Not because I’m that much of a fan of ‘war movies’ in general, but I just liked the premise, i.e. seeing what it takes to be part of the S.A.S. (something that I would never be able to do myself, due to being too addicted to comfy sofas, Playstation and takeaway pizza – apparently the world’s toughest soldiers aren’t allowed any of these during missions).

The story follows two recruits (each with their own personal demons) as they go on an S.A.S. training mission in the British wilderness to see if they have what it takes. I won’t tell you if they succeed or not, only that I wouldn’t have made it for five minutes.

Noel Clarke (Kidulthood) is one of their various ‘drill sergeant-type figures’ who is there to mentor them as they go and he does his best to lift the film out of mediocrity. He’s about the only star you may really recognise. And, perhaps that’s one of the film’s main faults: it screams ‘cheapness’ at all times. It has no real big name actors and the dialogue and acting talent on show isn’t exactly top drawer. However, its bleakness does add a level of realism to the film that gives you quite an overall gritty tone.

I’ve read comments online about how there are blatant errors in the story. These seem to all come from people who have actually served in the military and can spot when a British soldier gives an American salute (I didn’t even know there were two different types!). But, from my completely nonexistent military background, no ‘factual errors’ were apparent. If I had to guess I’d say this was a reasonable portrayal as to how tough recruits have it. I rolled my eyes more when our two recruits encounter an attractive woman on the train, only for her to ‘coincidently’ show up a few scenes later.

It’s not perfect and definitely isn’t for everybody. But if you’re in the mood for something gritty and brutal, plus you like soldier movies in general, give it a go. It’s not the longest of films, so you won’t feel like you’ve invested too much of your life in it anyway.

Probably more a 2.5 out of 5, but I'm feeling generous!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 June 2014
I am Soldier, written and directed by Ronnie Thompson is an attempt to
portray how an ordinary squaddie makes it through to the SAS elite UK
Special Forces regiment. A sort of homage to the SAS that does not
quite make the grade.

Tom Hughes, ( Silk, Cemetery Junction) ably plays the part of Mickey
Tomlinson, a young soldier with a somewhat tortured history, who
seeks to eradicate his fears by joining the SAS and proving himself.
We have the Escape and Evade, set in what looks like, the snow covered
Brecon Beacons, followed by the horrific and humiliating torture of
the Tactical Questioning routine. Very few can cope with that in real
life, and Hughes acting of the part was very realistic.
The film then goes on to include a very basic encounter with terrorists
in what seems like a disused factory, culminating in a unit from the
Counter Terrorism Squadron, under Noel Clarke, saving the day and
capturing the bomb with a very abrupt ending.
Tom Hughes creates a believable character, as does Noel Clarke as
his training officer, but the film lacks class in it's cinematography
and weak direction.

This was so obviously a low budget effort and it shows.
The actors are let down by a writer who thinks he is a director.
It may come off as brilliant on the page, but there was little 'magic'
throughout the film. No idea if this was a straight to DVD movie, but
I must admit I never saw it advertised anywhere other than on Amazon.
A reasonable vehicle for rising stars Tom Hughes and Noel Clarke,
but overall I could not give it more than 3 stars.

Subtitled in English.
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on 31 March 2014
Cardboard characters that didn't make me give a monkeys whether they lived or died or did anything much. G.I. Jane beat it hands down for action atmosphere and intrigue. Just dull, dull, dull...
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on 9 April 2014
Well as I'm x army I was keen to see how close to the real SAS this film would go. The location spot on, The training was so so.
But once the film gets to 3months later it all goes down hill, the mission, the way they clear rooms, the list is endless total pants.
Over all not a bad film but don't think for one sec that the SAS work like this... They don't.
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VINE VOICEon 11 March 2016
This may be a cynical view but sometimes, just sometimes 5 star reviews are planted on websites to drum up interest/trade for poor low budget films. These reviews are normally drivel. This can't be the case here surely?

This is an extremely low budget drama about SAS selection with a tacked on ending of an important mission that given a budget could of delivered action, but ultimately boils down to a couple of hand fights filmed at an industrial unit.

The story is clichéd as our handsome youn recruit earns the respect of superiors, one (the token pretty female) starts dating him, he overcomes adversity...so on...so on.

If this floats your boat then you may like it, but it's dull, almost childish in its delivery and you'd be better off watching the decent channel 4 show SAS: who dares wins or even the much mocked Ross Kemp drama Ultimate Force (actually the first two series of that were pretty decent and far superior to this).

It's not all negative, the film is understated, read as not going ho, in its approach, the cast are likeable and there's some nice scenery shots.

Ultimately it's watchable but drifts towards boring even with a short runtime.
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