Sometimes movies require a certain suspension of the accepted laws of reality, and for various reasons every plot device is not explained by a bread trail. This movie, Special Forces (2011), requires a certain indulgence of both. I've read other critical reviews that take exception to various scenes that to me aren't that mysterious or unclear, while certain things I've noticed on repeated viewings aren't mentioned. So let me say, this is a good movie, with very good (and realistic, in conflict with some reviewers opinions) action scenes about French Special Forces on a rescue mission of a French journalist. She happens to be a female, and one of the SF guys is single, so there's that subplot. The main plot is of the SF group who are sent on a recon mission, then pressed into a rescue mission. That particular plot point seems to escape some, who have unrealistic views of why potentially sacrifice many (the SF team) for a stubborn journalist who didn't get out even with repeated warnings to do so. Apparently this makes her less attractive to rescue, as this is her fault, after all. The SF group does the job, as that is what they do. They are not fans of the press or this journalist in particular (another plot thread) but, as it is in real life - soldiers do what they are told. The best do it with a passion that makes failure worse than any feelings they have about the mission. This is also real. At least from what I've seen. There are other plot directions, e.g., the new guy on the team who hasn't proved he has the right stuff, then takes an unbelievable risk to divide the forces in chase and does prove exactly who he is. Who lives, who dies, this is all familiar ground for anyone who watches the "Rescue movie." Some claim they know, saw it a mile away, no surprises; yet I've seen this same thing play out many different ways. (The unexpected death; that's what makes a Director "edgy".) The tactics, the weapons, the scenery, and the journey - Yes you've seen it before (with variation). This version was an enjoyable (with subtitles, as much of it is in different languages) tale, beautifully filmed that is worth watching more than once. I would recommend it without hesitation. 8/10, because some of the extreme human effort that the entire group of survivors achieves, and the curious coincidence of the lucky Taliban group who find what the French Army and Navy can't.
I've read some of the (few) reviews here that offer different defenses for this low-budget attempt to cash in on the story of self-proclaimed serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas.
Did he kill anyone? Even the most critical of the investigation and described preferential treatment Lucas received for confessing feel confident he murdered. How many? Well according to Lucas, that would change daily.
Even a low budget film can get simple facts correct - there is no cost associated with correctly identifying the law enforcement - There are no "Sheriffs" in the Rangers, nor would one refer to a Ranger as "Officer", if for no other reason than the lowest rank in the Rangers is Sergeant. There was a Sheriff involved in the Task Force, but it's not made clear that this is who they are referring to. Casting note- he would have made a better HL Lucas! And the movie theater scene. Is someone suggesting this actually happened? Free details. The sort of thing you get right when you don't have the budget to do other things. Some have suggested that this or that portrayal of this or that crime is an accurate depiction - hard to subscribe to when Lucas recanted on virtually every confession. It just depends on whose ear he was trying to hold.
The filming, story, dialog, casting (did they see a picture of Lucas?!!) are all failures. Cheap doesn't have to equal bad. It just does in this movie. Nothing for the crime true-story fan, the slasher fan, the gore fan - nothing for anybody except the people paid to be in this atrocity.
I saw it on Netflicks - free except for time wasted. Don't waste yours.