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.
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…
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Lorber Films
Original Release Date:
- Janus Metz Pedersen
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