10th Sep2015

‘War Pigs’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Luke Goss, Mickey Rourke, Chuck Lidell, Noah Segan, Steven Luke, Ryan Kelley, Jake Stormoen, K.C. Clyde, Apostolos Gliarmis, Maclain Nelson | Written by Adam Emerson, Andrew Kightlinger, Steven Luke | Directed by Ryan Little

war-pigs-dvd

Now this is one for the books, a direct to DVD “traditional” war film starring Dolph Lundgren and Luke Goss, thematically similar to classics like The Dirty Dozen and Inglorious Bastards. I for one never expected that! But that’s what War Pigs is, an old-school WW2-set war film about a small group of soldiers, the titular war pigs, put together to infiltrate a German army camp and disable the weapon stored there…

Following a botched raid, disgraced World War II army captain Jack Wosick (Goss) is given the opportunity for redemption when asked to lead a rag-tag unit of misfits known as the War Pigs on a secret mission to go behind enemy lines. They need to uncover and capture a Nazi developed Super Weapon, the V3, a massive artillery canon that would give the Nazis an insurmountable advantage against the Allies. With the help of Captain Hans Picault (Lundgren) a German Anti-Nazi serving with the French Foreign Legion and Colonel AJ Redding (Rourke) a battle hardened war veteran, Jack must train, lead and earn the respect of his new squad to become a functioning reconnaissance unit.

I don’t know about anyone else but I love my war movies to be exciting. And War Pigs is certainly not exciting. Don’t get me wrong, the film is well-staged, well-shot and at least makes full use of star Dolph Lundgren (kudos for giving his character an excuse for that accent too); but for the most part this is a mundane affair. Even when at the height of its key action sequences… It doesn’t help that the first part of the film spends its time focusing on the war pigs and their internal conflicts, with nary a training montage to even pump some life into the proceedings. This part of the movie drags on for so long that when the action does ensue – though on a very small scale – it comes too late to raise the film.

Of the headlining cast, Mickey Rourke appears in little more than a cameo, phoning in his performance as is typical of the actor today. Whilst MMA fighter Chuck Lidell is in a blink and you’ll miss him role in War Pigs’ opener… It’s definitely a case of trying to cash in on their names to give the film a “big name” cast boost.

But it didn’t need it. Lundgren and Goss can, and do, hold their own – really making the movie. As in making it watchable.

Both Lundgren and his co-star Luke Goss (playing the films central hero) commit themselves fully to their roles. Lundgren is a particular highlight, abandoning all his usual bravado and muscle-man stoicism in what is probably his best ever performance. But then both stars give superb performances that, for once, really show their range. Such a shame then that their top-notch acting is wasted on this direct-to-DVD movie which will undoubtedly fly under the radar of the majority. So much for using “big names” to sell a movie, right?

War Pigs is released on DVD and Blu-ray on Spetmeber 14th, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

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