War Pigs full movie review - This Film is the Real Pig
I think it's safe to say that Ryan Little has established himself firmly as the worst director of World War II films of the 21st century.
One might think that even as bad as the second and third Saints and Soldiers films were, that he would somehow improve with time and experience, but he stubbornly refuses to do so.
Here's the plot of the film: The Germans have designed a long-range gun that has the capability of shelling "Paris, or even London." The weather is still warm, and the film takes place in the mountains, and if Paris is a potential target, then that means the film takes place after the Liberation of Paris, so the gun must be in the southern half of the border region of France and Germany. If London is a potential target as well, then this gun would have a range of at least 400 miles. The War Pigs are ordered on a recon mission to determine whether the gun exists. The gun is out in the open, and the film shows a flight of American fighter planes in the area, which would have easily spotted the gun, so why the men are required to look for it is a mystery. In "The Guns of Navarone" (1961) the guns were at least hidden from view from the air.
The stupidity begins with a squad of 101st Airborne Division troopers being led by Captain Jack Wosick (Luke Goss, sporting a goatee the whole movie) on a mission in a French or German forest. For those that don't know, a captain commands a company, which was 176 men in 1940s Airborne divisions. A squad (12 men) was commanded by a staff sergeant. This squad does indeed have a staff sergeant, as second-in-command, in the person of former UFC fighter (and champion?) Chuck Liddell, sporting his trademark horseshoe mustache, which wasn't in style until, I believe, the late 1960s, and would NEVER be allowed in the Army in any decade. Capt. Jack had misunderstood his orders and leads his squad into an ambush by six German soldiers with an MG-42. He kills the Germans, but not before they annihilate everyone in his squad except him. As a result, he is demoted, because in WWII orders were never misunderstood and officers never got a lot of men killed in a single firefight. Okay, except for the "demoted" part, that last sentence was entirely sarcastic. You need to understand that this particular group of 101st Airborne soldiers were all wearing regular infantry uniforms with M1941 jackets (or M1943; I can't tell the difference yet), instead of the distinctive uniforms that paratroopers wore to show off their elite status. Therefore, they were either not really airborne troops, or they were just not very good airborne troops. The film never mentions which.
Ryan Little seems hellbent to prove to the world that he has no idea what U.S. Army uniforms were worn in the 1940s, or how people in general dressed or groomed themselves at all during that decade, or he just doesn't give a rat's rear-end. Case in point: Mickey Rourke as an Army colonel. That's a ridiculous premise from the get-go, but when he is sporting his ubiquitous long, uncombed hair hanging down past his jawline from underneath a beat-up white cowboy hat, along with what looks like a combination of pajamas and parts of an unbuttoned period Army jacket, one has to wonder if the film had any direction at all. Maybe it was a matter of Little being intimidated by finally directing a couple of former Hollywood A-List actors and he didn't want to ask Rourke to at least comb his hair. Anyway, Werner Klemperer's, Colonel Klink in "Hogan's Heroes" was a more convincing colonel than Mickey Rourke.
As part of his demotion, 1st Lt. Jack and his goatee are assigned to command a group of five undisciplined soldiers, a smart-mouthed, constantly insubordinate sergeant, and a French captain (Dolph Lundgren), who obviously outranks the lieutenant and would never have been put under a lieutenant's command (the U.S. respects the rank of allied militaries, then and now).
The three or four days of "training" that the men are put through in preparation for the mission is too stupid to detail.
**SPOILER STARTS HERE** After training, the eight men commence their mission. Five of them capture a German tank and half-track and make quick work of the 20 or so SS soldiers that had been in possession of the vehicles (Dolph Lundgren was very impressive standing in the middle of the road picking off SS troops with a 12-gauge pump). Lt. Jack then finds them and reports that another SS patrol took prisoner the two guys that were with him. Subsequently, they infiltrate the German compound, rescue the prisoners, easily kill all of the two-dozen or so Germans, and against orders, destroy the gun (they were only supposed to see if it was there) with a perfectly aimed tank shell. No Americans died and Lt. Jack and his goatee then get their railroad tracks (captain's rank insignia) back from Col. Cowboy Hippie and his court martial is canceled. The end.