Age of Heroes (2011)

image001By: Michael Davies (Five Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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This film is the true story of the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming’s WWII commando unit, from near annihilation at Dunkirk all the way to a vital mission behind Nazi lines in Norway with the potential to change the face of the war.

A Toast

The settings are very picturesque, with a story which has written itself as this is meant to be based on the true story of the formation of Ian Fleming’s 30 Commando Unit. It has “some” worthy acting, most noticeably from Sean Bean, John Dagleish, and William Houston.

Beer Two

It is possible to drink yourself into a grave with this point and I will use a phrase which springs from its namesake in this film and is usable for all his other films.  This the only good thing to come from this first beer!

Danny Dyers pantomime acting, here it comes…. his acting is “Dyer”bolical (I can hear the cringes from every corner of the globe, much like hearing his name in a film.) There is a reason; he reached his peak very quickly, and now his acting is simply tragic.  This whole film was killed for me right from the get-go. When you have a good calibre of acting ability mixed with him, the only thing which will actually show up is his acting. From his grimaces to his lack of micro emotions and his elocution to how unsure he looks when playing a part, you must wonder whether he bothered to prepare for this film in any way.

I do not disbelieve that Danny Dyers intentions in acting are not genuine.  He does try to act; it unfortunately always takes the linear direction of pairing a cockney English accent with a dumbfounded, weak character.

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Danny Dyer looking as menacing as Barney the Dinosaur.

Beer Three

One can only help but wonder whether the inevitable will not happen to Sean Bean. This can be a game in itself if you have seen many of his films like I have. I would say this is a spoiler but it shouldn’t come to anybody’s surprise the next part I’m about to type, but for the sake of those who will watch this and haven’t seen anything apart from Sharpe with Sean Bean in it, stop reading as it will be a revelation and ruin the film for you (holding back sarcasm whilst turning purple in the face because of the extensively held breath.)

No surprise, Beer Three is tossed down to yet another film where Sean Bean dies or has an implied death, in the name of Honour, Heroism, and damn right “STIFF UPPER LIP” Britishness. There is no doubt that he plays this part well, I mean he is a bloody good actor with all things considered and he has a plethora of quality films he has been in, but just once, if there is a film genie who grants a wish, let it be that his character in Sharpe who has survived more battles than I have had hot dinners; that he will fall like a hero so that Sean Bean can live in a film.

Beer Four

To the lack of preparation that went into making this film a little bit authentic.

I am all for a film being fun, but it gives me a slight itch when certain points you know wouldn’t happen do, and that itch becomes a scratch when it says in its opening statement that it is based on a true story. This is very important if you are English and a war enthusiast and this scratch becomes yourself chewing your arm off in frustration as to whether anybody was doing any research or even just logical thinking when filming.

Not far from the truth, (but my imagination of their food kit at the end of the film) by the end of the film they have 1 kipper, a packet of pork scratching, 2 peanuts, and a can of Coca Cola (using the research logic of this film to deduce their food kit.) This is only for a small journey at the end of the film in the freezing cold, in the middle of war-torn Norway to Sweden, to be shared by a group of them.

I read another review which summed this point up for me, apparently the budget runs out… hmmmm how to end a film quickly…. perfect, we shall save money by saying they walked to Sweden, add a few shots of them pointing to Sweden in the ending scene, and job finished, HAZAR!”

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Any guesses as to whether their camouflage gear may be a slight misjudgment?

Beer Five

The Fifth Beer is for the length and lack of pace in this film. I understand they are trying to add some tension and use up minutes in dialogue explaining their master plans, but frankly hell has frozen over and the war has ended by the time they get round to executing the plan.

To sum it up, I did get to the end of the film, but it made me very tired.

Verdict

5Beers1-300x102

For a bit of fun and for the sheer comical factor of Dyers acting, it is worth a watch.  If you enjoy seeing discrepancies which cannot be covered up by the excuse of a small budget, go see it because you will have a field day, especially if you have some drinking games to go along with this kind of thing.

Luckily it is a film you could probably get away with fast forwarding to the more exciting scenes and cut down what seems like a journey which leaves you with aches and regret if you are somebody who likes films loosely based on a true story to at least keep some authenticity.

There seems to be a lack of passion and true motivation to do some background research into the characters and it shows through true as day as it was a tiring film by the end.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Danny Dyer looks confused

Take a Drink: for Sean bean for every scene he is in and isn’t dead (Yes you quite possibly will be drinking a lot; it’s quite needed though.)

Take a Drink: for every line Danny Dyer opens his mouth for and doesn’t sound believable. (Ok, you won’t be standing at the end of this film.)

Do a Shot of Rum: every time they change a clip in their guns

Forfeit: every plot hole you can clearly explain, pick a forfeit for your friends.

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