I am a film reviewer so frankly I don't care that the lead actor, Mr Fucilla, is, according to the Guardian newspaper, a merchant banker who believes he can bypass training as an actor and has bought bought his way into a project. I don't care that the director was a unit driver called Barry Leonti (according to IMDb) and reinvented himself as a director, called Paris. I don't care about the fact that MERCENARIES advertises itself (on Wikipedia) as being shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 when it wasn't (I was there and there is no official record of it in any competition). What I care about is what I see when I pay my money and watch what is on the big or small screen in front of me. And unfortunately, in this case, it would not be an exaggeration to say it is an absolutely unwatchable mish mash mess. The starting problem is the fact that no attempt has been made to put it in the right geographical setting. Even low budget films need to make an effort, though. Srebenica? This has clearly been set in the local park. This in itself is bad but when you throw a clearly unconsidered plot and script in to the mix then you have problems. Derivative, would be putting it mildly. Where is there any attempt at being original. Low budget is no excuse for making no effort. Quite the opposite - it is the absolute opportunity to do something original. Clearly, Billy Zane, sticks out like a sore thumb, bring the pay check face on the DVD cover (though, as many reviewers have pointed out - even he has disowned the film by refusing to be on the DVD cover). The dialogue just seems to have been thrown together and the acting is a mix of amateurism and half-heartedness - it's difficult to tell what could have been made of this if the script had not been so bad.
Ultimately it is a sad old mess and reflects really badly on the struggling UK film industry. This is not what is needed in the industry, it will just drive investors further away from investing in films. What a sad, missed opportunity. Let's hope this film can be quietly forgotten and the UK film industry can provide us with some low budget, quality, original films again.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Andy Marlow, an ex British S.A.S serviceman turned mercenary, is sent into the Balkans after a military coup has arisen to rescue a U.S ambassador and his aide.
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December 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM