Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Wild Geese
Don't ask me why it's taken so long for me to see this movie. It's up there with The Dogs of War for famous flicks about mercenaries. Finally having seen it, my feelings are mixed.
In short, I'd like to read the book because I suspect it is substantially better (usually a safe bet). There are things that bother me a lot about the movie from a tactical perspective. Even if the writer/screenwriter knows their stuff, actors and directors can still screw up the realism. These guys fight like they have no concept of cover or concealment. They don't even attempt to maintain reasonable intervals in the bush. They wear their berets (even the maroon ones, complete with shiny insignia) in the field--honestly, who does that? I could go on.
On the positive side, there were some realistic things. A plan only survives up until the first contact with the enemy, and we see this happen more than once in this flick. And our heroes are betrayed by the suits who sent them to do the dirty merc work. Boy, does that ring true--especially in Africa.
My original title for Hell and Gone was The Has-Beens. That label fits the Wild Geese even better than it fits my fictional mercs. I think there were only 2 bodies under 40 years old in the whole outfit.
Anyway, there are more wasteful activities you could engage in for 129 minutes. And I do want to read the book, now.