Starring action favorite Sean Bean (THE LORD OF THE RINGS, DON'T SAY A WORD, ESSEX BOYS) and based on a captivating true story written by best-selling author Andy McNab, BRAVO TWO ZERO explores the tragedies and triumphs o... more »f men taken to the edge of survival during the Persian Gulf War. When an elite eight-man British SAS team is dropped behind enemy lines, their mission is clear: take out Saddam Hussein's SCUD missile systems. But when communications are cut and they find themselves surrounded by Hussein's army, their only hope is to risk capture and torture in a desperate 185-kilometer run to the Syrian border. With a terrific screenplay by the writer of the classic action hits KELLY'S HEROES and RED HEAT, you'll long remember this compelling story of wartime heroism and bravery.« less
Christopher Nieman | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I discovered, to my surprise, that the BBC made a movie of Andy McNab's bestselling book BRAVO TWO ZERO for British television, and that they had the wherewithal to cast Sean Bean as McNab, I was immediately interested.But it was a specific, incisive review on Amazon that had me buy the DVD sight unseen. Knowing that McNab co-wrote the screenplay, served as military technical advisor (can you possibly beat that for authentic detail?) and carefully chose how the film would be produced, I was confident its foundation was solid as granite. And I was not disappointed in the least.I read McNab's book in 1996, so it gave me the advantage of knowing the subject matter in the movie. Some viewers will be put off by the casual use of military jargon. There are elliptical references to the "SatNav" (satellite navigation unit, otherwise known as "the shiny thing"), "TACBE" (tactical beacon, or two-way radio), "RV" (rendezvous point), and "tabbing" (walking), just to name a few. Likewise, some of the rhythm of the characters' language may skip past American ears. But I think this is not a weakness, because it deliberately avoids trying to be all things to all people. In my opinion, it's the authentic language and the camaraderie between squad mates that set this apart from just about any war film ever made. It also presents a unique brand of casual, sometimes fatalistic humor that bonds the unit together, even in the face of incredible adversity. It's something that's extremely hard to convey to a viewing audience without seeming trite, but here it hits the mark time and again. The scale of military action by the squad is also very well portrayed. McNab apparently drilled the actors pretty well, because you can see a little bit of snap in almost every move they make. Especially in the initial engagement, I was getting the indication the action was choreographed, or at least overseen, by McNab himself. In fact, the film as a whole is very faithful to the book, right down to the last line uttered by Sean Bean (which is the last line in the book). Many scenes come off in such an extemporaneous manner that the film takes on an almost documentary-like quality. It's a credit to the author for finding the best possible way to present his story.And that's not even mentioning the film's harrowing last half, and a dozen other things worth mentioning, if it weren't for space considerations.BRAVO TWO ZERO had me quickly revisiting my list of favorite war movies. Of those films, this is already in my personal top ten after two viewings. I highly recommend it. "Pass it on!""
A True Tale of Bravery Under Fire
Bruce Kendall | Southern Pines, NC | 02/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I gather that this is a well know story in The UK, yet I, for one, didn't know anything about the mission until seeing the film on Showtime recently. It is one compelling tale, and a highly realistic treatment of modern warfare, especially as practiced by special forces units in both the British and US military. It centers on a secret SAS mission early in Desert Storm. Sgt Andy McNab's unit is helicoptered in to the middle of nowhere in Norther Iraq, with orders to reconnoiter Scud Missile sites. It is supposed to be less than a 24 hr hour quick-in/quick-out assignment. Yet from almost the time they are dropped off, they lose radio contact with command. Then things start to really deteriorate. They find themselves exposed in what is essentially open desert, badly outgunned, and in a country extremely hostile. Eventually, after inflicting an amaziing number of casualties on their enemy, all but one of the seven man unit is either captured, or killed.What happens to McNab and his comrades in Iraqi custody makes the Turkish prison scenes in MIDNIGHT EXPRESS look like a trip to Club Med. It's by far the most graphic, brutal depiction of prisoner interrogation I've ever seen. It really verges on over the top at times, but one is reminded that this is a true story. I don't know where this movie was made, but it's actually rather amazing that the filmmakers could get this large a cast of middle easterners to reenact some of these war and prison scenes. Rather like the logistical problems that faced the creators of BLACK HAWK DOWN, which was filmed in Morocco. I notice on IMDB that the country of origin is South Africa, but that only confuses me more. It's a BBC production, so they usually find a way, TRAFFIK, being a good example.I've seen several reviewer complaints about the poor quality of the DVD transfer. I watched it on Cable, so can't comment on that. The print that I saw had no problems.The cast of Bravo Two Zero is uniformly (no pun intended) excellent. Sean Bean, known to most American audiences for his role of Boromir in THE LORD OF THE RINGS, delivers as usual. I thought he was great in THE BIG EMPTY recently, as well. Tom Clegg, a veteran director of British Television, does a yeomanlike job of keeping it real here. What struck me in the final alaysis is how McNab downplays his ordeal. He expresses no lasting bitterness towards his captor/torturers. He says they were doing their duty, as well, though perhaps enjoying it just a bit too much. He also jokes that he didn't immediately turn tree hugger after getting back home. He and his men were just being soldiers, and what soldiers they were/are! They should not be forgotten. This movie is unforgettable as well. BEK"
Real Life Drama Done Almost Documentary Style
Smithroz | Western NC | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Every soldier hopes for a major war in his life time. This one was mine." Former SAS sergeant Andy McNab could have sold his best selling true story of the Gulf War to Hollywood. He opted for less money from the BBC for reasons of creative control. He has a writing credit on the script and served as technical adviser, drilling the actors on weapons handling and tactics. This is the film's strength. Everything looks right, especially for a low budget effort. Stock footage of aircraft and Scud missiles is used in places to give background information, but watching the actors preparing for their mission and patrolling in the field feels very real. The soldier's banter is also pitch perfect and often very funny. This realism, however, is also a weakness, especially for an American audience. Much backstory has been omitted, so those viewers unfamilar with the SAS and the highly celebrated exploits of this particular 8 man patrol may find it hard to keep the characters and the story straight. Americans may also have problems with the British slang, technical military jargon and working class accents. Of course, the wonderful thing about DVD technology is that one can always use close captioning to help figure out what were gobbed off about the while making a brew.This is a story about leadership when everything goes wrong. It is about keeping your head, and your sense of humor, when encountering both the absurdity and the terror of a war were one side plays by horrifying rules. It is not a film for everyone. There are scenes in the later part of the movie that are uncomfortable to watch and close attention has to be paid to the dialog because of the jargon. But if you have the patience to stay with it, Bravo Two Zero is indeed, one ripping good story."
An Eye-Opening and Interesting True Story from the Gulf War
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 07/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bravo Two Zero is a two-hour 1997 BBC film adaptation of ex-SAS Sergeant Andy McNabb's book of the same name, which documents his two-month experience behind enemy lines in Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991. McNabb was the leader of an eight-man SAS team sent disable both the Iraqi's scud missiles and their communication system. The crew, however, finds themselves with a disabled communication system of their own, and when things go terribly wrong, they have no alternative but to abort their mission and try to reach the Syrian border. In the process, the team must endure freezing temperatures, injury, separation, capture and torture. Sean Bean (Sharpe, Extremely Dangerous, Golden Eye) gives an absolutely first-rate and extremely convincing performance as Andy McNabb. Bean worked very closely with McNabb in order really to come to grips with the man and his coping mechanisms in the face of such extreme and terrifying conditions, and I simply cannot imagine a better portrayal by Bean or anyone else. (Just as a point of interest, McNabb himself has said that he thought Bean could have done the job in real life.)Though I am not generally speaking an aficionado of military/war films, I found this to be an interesting and eye-opening account. It is not a big-budgeted Hollywood production and therefore makes use of actual archive footage of bomber planes and soldiers in places. As a result the film may not look quite as slick in places, but don`t let that deter you. It is nonetheless extremely well done--a quality production that is consumately acted by all involved. Recommended to fans of military/war films in particular, but also to fans of Sean Bean in general."
Authentic and gritty.
Michael Brockway | USA | 03/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What struck me most about this film was it's authenticity.There were no Hollywood types of scenes with over-the-top valor and unrealistic feats of heroism.Instead, we watch a group of the most professional soldiers in the world prepare for and execute a very difficult mission, and then we get to follow them when Mr. Murphy [deceives them].Two things leapt out at me as soon as I saw the movie. One was the exceptional authenticity of the dialogue. Listening to them using terms like "MSR" and their desperate attempt to raise friendly force on their radio, I was impressed at the homework that these actors did. I also thought it was interesting that many of the 8 actors in the team had that swagger that comes from a combination of pride and from [carrying a 200 pound ruck on the back]. I have not looked into it, but some of those guys must have been in the service.This is a gritty film that depicts reality with stellar accuracy. A must see for any war movie buff like me who is regularly disappointed by the awful drivel that Hollywood churns out (i.e. Tears of the Sun). I rank this up there with Black Hawk Down."