Special Forces (2011) – Film Review


A war correspondent is taken hostage by the Taliban and faced with imminent execution in Stephane Rybojad’s Special Forces. A French Special Forces unit is duly dispatched to rescue her and a deadly pursuit across over hostile terrain begins.

This French film, populated with largely unknown French actors, tries to be a bang up-to-date and very earnest depiction of a conflict that is currently in our thoughts every day – a movie that blends the reality of modern warfare with intimate portrayals of the people involved… and it very nearly achieves it.

Diane Kruger as Elsa, the war correspondent whose capture sparks the rescue, attempts to be gritty but fails to convince. Perhaps this role is a stretch after more mainstream blockbuster appearances in the likes of National Treasure and Troy where she is required to be nothing more than supporting eye candy. Much better is Djimon Hounsou as the leader of the unit sent to bring her back. His performance anchors the film and lends it real gravitas, something he does in nearly all the films he appears in.

Ultimately, for all of its grand ambition, the film struggles to raise its head above the level of say The Wild Geese which, surprisingly, it has a lot in common with. This is not necessarily a bad thing and the cinematography alone lends it a polished sheen.


Best performance: Hounsou, proving once again that he can rival Denzel Washington if given the chance in the right roles.

Watch the trailer here…

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