Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look: 0%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 8.33%

1 review, 6 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Lucky Grandma by Jay Seaver

Vast of Night, The by Peter Sobczynski

High Note, The by Peter Sobczynski

Taking of Tiger Mountain, The by Jay Seaver

Trip to Greece, The by Peter Sobczynski

Night God by Jay Seaver

Alice (2019) by Jay Seaver

On a Magical Night (Chambre 212) by Jay Seaver

Driveways by Jay Seaver

Free Country by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

American Soldiers
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by David Cornelius

"[Insert generic "war movie is hell" joke here.]"
1 stars

“American Soldiers” is a film about the Iraq war, shot on location in Ontario, using Canadian cast and crew. Anyone else find this as funny as I do?

The film comes to us from Sidney J. Furie, the director who began his career helming such well-received works as “The Ipcress File” and “Lady Sings the Blues” before finding his way into the sad realm of Golan-Globus and their Cannon Films, where he delivered such gems as three of the “Iron Eagle” films and his magnum opus, “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.” Furie has since gone on to juggle work in television (including episodes of “V.I.P.” and something called “18 Wheels of Justice”), direct-to-video fare (“Partners In Action,” “Detention”), and Rodney Dangerfield projects (“Ladybugs,” “My 5 Wives”). Needless to say, when you see Furie’s name pop up in the credits, having Hamilton, Ontario, stand in for the Middle East is the least of your worries.

To be fair, it’s not as much a train wreck as it may seem - it’s more clumsy and boring than it is inept and offensive. There are many chances for this film to dive into exploitive territory, but Furie and screenwriter/fellow DTV vet Greg Mellott (“Direct Action,” “Black Point”) back off, instead presenting a fairly innocuous, if highly idiotic, war actioner.

The film opens with a title card informing us that April 2004 was the deadliest month in Iraq since the official end of the war a year earlier - a statistic that now seems a bit out of date. (It’s surprising that this opening statement was not amended, considering that the film, rushed into production, was constantly being rewritten during production in order to keep up with the news. It was also finished in May 2005 but sat unreleased for a full year - plenty of time for the filmmakers to add a few quick changes, yes?) The idea behind the film is that we’ll be watching one unit as it makes through one of those April days.

And so we get a parade of clichéd war movie characters scrambling about in an effort to return to their base. Call them the Army’s unluckiest platoon, as with every step they make, they’re confronted by Canadian extras dressed up as insurgents who keep popping up out of nowhere to shoot missiles at them. None of it makes much sense, as we’re watching some cheap action flick from the 80s retooled with a handful of modern references thrown in here and there. Sure, we get IEDs and car bombs and such, but we get a whole lot more in the random explosions and generic Muslims with grenade launchers field - stuff you would’ve found in the “Delta Force” movies of two decades ago. Furie might be attempting to create a tribute to the ordinary fighting soldier, but he relies too often on familiar material that simply doesn’t fit.

Furie and Mellott try their best to make an Iraq War equivalent of “Black Hawk Down,” what with the gritty, dusty photography and the swooning Zimmer-esque musical score from Varouje Hagopian and the somber tribute to the real-life fallen soldiers. But it’s all so second-rate, with cheap action theatrics replacing honest emotion, drama, and tension.

(More importantly, very little effort is made to get Hamilton looking like Iraq. Street signs are still visible in the background, buildings look ridiculously inauthentic, and the cramped shooting style - framed to avoid revealing local landmarks around the set - only enhances the cheapness of it all.)

Mellott can’t even craft a decent character here, and so all the soldiers inevitably wind up being indistinguishable from one another. How, then, can we care when a character’s killed off, if our entire knowledge of the unit is that there’s this one guy, and here’s this other guy, and don’t forget about the black guy. There’s one actor, playing a sergeant, if I recall, who had a laughably fake southern accent. That’s the extent of characterization on display. (Sure, we get one overlong scene that hopes to detail the boredom of war, with the cast standing around, talking about home, waiting for something to happen. But it’s too boring, and it goes on far too long, that you’ll tune out before you get to know any of the characters beyond their superficial presentations.)

“American Soldiers” ultimately becomes a cheap knock-off of an honest war movie. Its characters are one-dimensional, its action uninvolving and unbelievable, its direction weak, its dialogue ridiculous. It’s harmless but brainless, a modern war movie dumbed down for people who still like random explosions and generic bad guys.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14531&reviewer=392
originally posted: 05/10/06 15:02:08
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

4/02/08 Some Guy who seen it.... This film is an insult to common sense and a plainly false betrayal.. 1 stars
8/08/07 Steve Nunya Worst movie ever it is soooo fake wow 1 stars
7/08/07 Abs repetative action/talkfest scenes. The movie fails to make you care about the people whodie 2 stars
6/18/06 ICrewUH60 Total CRAP. Very Insulting, but somehow more INEPT. Poor Acting. Slanted left Political BS. 1 stars
5/25/06 American Soldier I can honestly say this is one of the best movies of all time, Cornelius is wrong!!! 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  16-May-2006 (R)
  DVD: 16-May-2006



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast