Published on October 24th, 2011 | by Chris1
Much like the incredible Restrepo, Armadillo puts you right in the middle of the war in Afghanistan. Only this time we go with a group of recruits from Denmark.
This is a pretty undefinable little film. It departs significantly at times from the usual documentary format. In fact, at times you will (at least I did) wonder if some of the shots aren't staged. There are a lot of these moments. So many in fact that it somewhat takes away from the entire experience.
Fortunately, though, none of these moments occur when the camera is out in the field with these guys. Which is where the shit really hits the fan. The final scene where the platoon gets split with a squad of Taliban stuck in a ditch between them.... It doesn't get much more harrowing than that. And brutal. Scenes like this show just what its like. Without any sugar coating. Apart from that it reminded me more of a TV reality show. Mainly because of the camera/production work that they dressed it up in during the soldiers' down time. Then the almost "fabricated" soap opera surrounding that ambush which never goes anywhere....
This review is pretty short, I will admit. It's basically because there isn't a lot to say. The basic premise is this: 1) Film a bit of the guys before they leave, 2) film them "over there" as various things happen to them, 3) film a bit as they return home.
All that said, I'm going to give this a solid 7/10. I would have gone less, but the actual "in the field" stuff really does make the "other stuff" not quite so important or distracting overall. I know this was a pretty acclaimed movie, but I couldn't bring myself to get all excited about it.
One thing I did notice, and I wondered why it wasn't included, because you know at one point one of them said it. None of them really wondered out loud on camera, "just WTF are we Danes doing here, anyway?" Especially as their guys get killed and wounded. I know I'd be thinking it. Don't get me wrong, the contribution they make to the overall effort over there is invaluable, and greatly appreciated. I'm speaking on a personal level, from their point of view....
Obviously, all of the dialog is in Danish and subtitled. Not a problem for me, just need to point this out.
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ARMADILLO is a raw and unforgettable journey into the war in Afghanistan. Mads and Daniel are Danish troops joining the NATO mission in Helmand Province. Their platoon is stationed in Camp Armadillo, with Taliban fighters a stone's throw away...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Lorber Films
Original Release Date:
- Janus Metz Pedersen
- Factory sealed DVD
Top notch war doc.,
This review is from: Armadillo (Amazon Video)This one flew in under the radar.
What a wonderful documentary detailing a six month tour of Afghanistan by a Danish Company. We seem to stay with one platoon. Very up close and personal, we see the troops leaving Denmark, arriving in Afghanistan and going out on their operations. The name "Armadillo" comes from their Forward Operating Base where the guys, eat, sleep, work and play.
Something this documentary highlighted beautifully is that war can be endless hours, days, months of boredom interrupted by a few seconds of the most adrenaline inducing excitement you'll ever feel. These young men patrolled day after day with Stryker and Artillery cover usually turning up nothing. But once or twice they came into contact with the Taliban. As the viewer we are right on the line with them. It's fantastic stuff. They took one or two casualties and men from another platoon were lost.
We watch the men bond tighter and watch out for each other. There's... Read more
The most intense snapshot of the war in Afghanistan.,
This review is from: Armadillo (DVD)"Armadillo" - compared to 2010's "Restrepo" - really has some of the most intense battle action of the crop of Iraq/Afghanistan war documentaries of the Iraq/Afghan Wars era. The interesting thing is this movie follows DANISH soldiers, serving there as part of ISAF, who are stationed at a base - called Armadillo - in southern Afghanistan. In many cases they - and we - see the Taliban, from the viewpoint of the little radio-controlled drone airplane that they launch by hand daily, and we see the soldiers go on patrol and confront them in the nearby villages. Also too we see them contronting the local dwellers of those villages in sit-down meetings where they protest "You bombed my field." "You bombed my cow". "You bombed my house." "They don't shoot at you, they come and kill US!" And they pay the villagers 1500 dollars for their losses. Ideally, I DO kinda' wish they could have done almost a reality show type approach - with cameras just EVERYWHERE shooting EVERYTHING and editing it... Read more
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
ARMADILLO, a window to war.,
This review is from: Armadillo (DVD)
If you are a follower of the subject, there is nothing to dislike about this documentary. Young Danish soldiers, men
who should have their whole life ahead of them, face every day war, and death, in Afghanistan. Far away from their
country and loved ones, in a place that has no resemblance whatsoever to their own world, they strive to do their military
duty... and survive.
Winner of the Cannes award, this documentary deserves the acclaim.
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Summary: Armadillo puts you right in the middle of the war in Afghanistan. Only this time we go with a group of recruits from Denmark