26th Dec2011

‘Battle Recon: The Call to Duty’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Scott Martin, Clint Glenn Hummel ,Tony Pauletto ,Brandon Davis ,Johnny Kios, Riley Litman, Alberto Frezza | Written and Directed by Scott Martin


Scott Martin, who previous wrote and starred in the well-received horror flick The Rig, here turns his hand to directing and the war genre with a film set in the aftermath of the allied invasion of France in the summer of 1944 a squad of American paratroopers struggle to carry out a mission only one of them knows the real reason for undertaking. As tensions become increasingly heightened in the heat of battle, trust becomes not only their hope but their fear as well. Are their allies really who they appears to be?

Originally titled Battle Force and obviously renamed to cash in on the famous video game franchise, Battle Recon: The Call to Duty wants to be Inglorious Basterds so much, it almost screams that out. You have a group of Americans sneaking into Sicily to save a group of captured soldiers who may know secrets that could endanger the whole D-Day campaign if they are revealed. Of course the way to save them is to send a crack force of American soldiers in there to get them out. They are best of the best ready with their attitude and comic characters to save the day. Yes, I said comic. Well they are comic to an extent, but not too silly which is a good thing.

Truth is these soldiers do kick major ass and helped by a group of Sicilian resistance fighters they fight to complete their mission and keep the plans for the war safe. This is a throwback to films like Inglorious Bastards, Dirty Dozen even Inglorious Basterds in its style, they are smart assed soldiers who have one thing going for them and that is they are good at fighting. Well this is what the story tells us anyway.

The story is good for the film, it’s a generic war style yes but it’s interesting enough. Battle Recon: The Call to Duty has got action and it’s got a love interest, it’s got everything you would expect. That is when things get slightly strange though. The music choice for the film I found was strange, it’s obvious this film is done on a small budget but the music at times did take some of the drama away from the scenes which I found was a pity. It seemed when the scenes were meant to be serious the music gave them a strange comic feel even though they were not really that funny. This gave the scenes a weird feel but it’s something you do get used to it in the end, it could just have been done better. The German in command in Sicily was also a very strange character. Somewhere between a character from Allo Allo and a homage to Christophe Waltz’ character in Inglorious Basterds he seemed to be a comedy character with no real intimidation value. This to some extent is where I got the feel of Tarantino’s movie. They were aiming for Col. Hans Landa but could not get that intensity that Waltz brings to that role. Not saying it was down to bad acting, because the acting is not bad at all in this film. It’s just no Inglorious Basterds.

All negativity aside one thing that has to be admitted is that if you like war films and you don’t mind the obvious signs of a low budget this is actually quite entertaining. The story is predictable but well-structured and is one of the things that actually manage to keep the film together. The acting is adequate and the actors pull the story along, it may not be the best war film ever but for what it is, it’s watchable and entertaining, which in the end is what matters…


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