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Customer Review

on 14 August 2011
Well, when I say "art" I mean "a movie 'based on' actual events." One has to wonder just how much licence the director and writer take with the "facts" to spice up their narrative and support their central character story with movies like this. A recollection of the news reports of the time and five minutes with Google supports the back story - the Russians did rumble south and did kill all sorts of people they perhaps shouldn't have - but such is life. The central premise - that a couple of journalists will, whilst being a bit too Hollywood gung-ho, do anything and everything to get the story out (in this case, video proving Russian war crimes) stretches credulity a little bit but is still plausible (I mean, if someone aimed an AK at my head I'd tend to become very compliant. However, that's making life a bit too easy for our hero hack). The picture is crisp and there's action a-plenty, with genuine Russian tanks, APCS, helicopters and infantry weapons in large quantities zipping around all over the place making lots of loud bangs and keeping the SFX boys very busy. The plucky Georgians, having made overtures to the west and cosied up to the EU, have plenty of NATO kit, including Humvees, VBLs, M-16s and 66mm anti-tank rockets. How much of this is true-to-life I'm not sure but it paints the right picture and doesn't spoil things. Apropos of nothing to do with the movie, one has to wonder whether, had Georgia been part of the EU, the Russians would have expanded their "peacekeeping" duties in the two disputed areas over the borders into Georgia proper.

Setting the foundations of the relationships between the main characters in Iraq, some years later their lives and paths cross again and entwine as the situation rapidly goes downhill in Georgia. It's a good story well told, with a moral dimension - and the inevitable romance - that comes together nicely and didn't have me deciding to go and rummage in the 'fridge halfway through like some movies that look really good from the trailer, packaging and back-cover synopsis do. I liked it more than I thought I might.

It also provides an object lesson as to why a fast, heavily armed Mi-24 Hind is a far better medevac option than a lumbering Chinook with a minigun mounted on the ramp and not much else!
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