While on vacation abroad, I finally managed to get my hands on a perfectly legitimate DVD of a film (which had about 20 something war films on it for the lowdown price of 1.75 USD but no reason to think it's illegal, even though it was sold in some open air market with no receipt or returns) I really wanted to see for a long time called "Valley of the Wolves - Iraq" which was reported a bit in the media when it came out in Turkey and stuff a while ago.
Many Americans both conservative and liberal (who cared enough to comment) were concerned about the negative portrayals of Americans, Jews and others in this film and thus I, as a patriotic, Conservative American was also worried but I can honestly say they have absolutely nothing to worry about.
The Americans are the bad guys and die about as well as stormtroopers or redcoats throughout the film. But still, Billy Zane was an awesome possum villainous ex-military Army guy who drives around doing ummm... bad stuff.
The plot, if you dorks care about such things, is kinda sorta based on a true event where the US forces detained like eleven Turkish soldiers stationed in Northern Iraq for some days and then let them go but in here, one of them can't deal with the shame of being detained, blows his brains out and tells his brother who just happens to be the Turkish equivalent of Jack Bauer.
Big fucking mistake Amerika!
What follows is a semi-interesting series where the plodding protaganists in halfway inspired action scenes yawningly dispatch of various Peshmerga and US military goons in various bland action scenes. The real light of the story though is how awesome the US military is at being bad guys.
Usually Hollywood is made of fail when trying to make the US military bad guys, either because they shove it full of crappy ideology and make it preachy or they're mind numbingly cookie cutter villains like with the Hollywood B-movies circuit.
Valley of the Wolves does a bit of both but remembers that their villains need style as well. On that point at least it delivers. The opening confrontation between Polat Alemdar (the protaganist) and Lieutenant Sam Marshall (Billy Zanes character) occurs in a Hotel where Polat at dinner, tells the Hotel Manager that he has planted bombs at the hotels support columns and will bring it down (after the building is evacuated of course) unless the Hotel Manager calls Marshall to the building.
The Hotel Manager responds, he can't do that, he doesn't even know Lieutenant Marshall.
Polat responds isn't "the American soldier the servant of American capitalism" and then a light sorta turns on in the Hotel Managers head and he gets Lieutenant Marshall called over to the hotel. Polat then tricks the LT to sit on a chair at their table that has a bomb on it and they start to talk.
And so begins the confrontation.
Marshall: There is nothing you can get from me.
Polat: There is nothing that I want from you. But there is something you can give to me. <Henchman opens a case with sacks in them> I will slip this on your head. It will be the same with your men. You will exit the hotel like this, and the journalists will take pictures of you. You can give me this much can't you. And I will give you the Grand Harilton in return and then I will leave.
Marshall: And these are the same hoods I put on your soldiers?
Polat: Put this on your head while its still attached to your body. If not, I have a body bag that fits your body.
Marshall: Look Turk, I've been in this region 15 years. Now I know you Turks very well. You make your own rules, draw your own red lines. You have your own Iraqi politics which state if we don't want something to happen, there's nothing anyone can do to make it happen. Let me tell you something. We stepped all over your red lines, we screwed your Iraqi politics and am I to understand that you are not offended by this but by these hoods?
Polat: <stern stare>
Marshall: I'll tell you what your offended by, because the United States has been paying for you for the last fifty years. We send you the elastic for your goddam panties. Why can't you produce anything? You say you want money, we send it. You steal and cheat it other over it and then ask for more. You say you want guns, we send it to you. You want to do battle, you want to bargain with us before before sending in your troops, and then you ask for more money. How can you forget how you begged for us to save you from the communists. No wonder your offended, we don't need you anymore.
<Henchmen #1 looks very angry, Henchman #2, apparently a Kurdish Turk (one of the good ones mind you :p ) merely looks exasperated>
Polat: <Unperturbed> I am not the leader of a political party, neither a diplomat, or a soldier. I am a Turk as you pointed out very well. I wreak havoc on those who put hoods over a Turks head. Now shut up and put this on!
<throws the sack into Marshalls face, who promptly removes it and starts lookingangry>
Marshall: Alright. Blow it up. Blow it up for all I care. You blow my place, I blow up yours.
<Polat reveals the detonator and suddenly Marshall starts looking scared>
Marshall: Wait! Wait a minute! Everyone has a... sensitive spot. You touched mine by... throwing a hood in my face. <smirks> That wasn't very nice. <deep breath> I know yours though. <turns to his men> Bring them in.
<thirty schoolchildren walk into the hotel dining hall beside them, Polat and henchmen pale. Marshall reveals he was faking being scared the whole time>
Polat: You are a hateful man!
Marshall: No I love children. Know why, they are fearless, just like me. Just when they grow up they become cowards, like all sinners. You know, sometimes I wonder what the world will be like if we killed all the children before they grow up. What do you think?
Polat: Your a baby killer already. How many babies have you killed already. Now you tell me that I cannot kill them. Let me tell you something, I won't kill them, I won't use them. Otherwise what would be the difference between you and me.
Marshall: Let me tell you the difference between you and me. You won't sacrifice the lives of eleven of your men. Meanwhile you watch your countries fortune go to ruin. I would sacrifice eleven thousand of my men if needed. You cannot abandon thirty kids because of your feelings. I would kill every single one of them for their feelings. I'd kill all who'd ruin the peace. Unlike you I am not here by coincidence, I am a peackeeper assigned by God. A peacekeeper who is God's child. You want to hit that button, go ahead, send them up.
Polat: I am leaving now. We will meet again.
HOLY SHIT, that conversation rocked. The best part though, was marching in a bunch of children, that came out of left field completely and was so awesomely villainous.
What's even better is that Lieutenant Marshall then as Polat and company leaves, orders the table removed and a piano brought in so that as bomb techs work on defusing the bomb under his seat, Marshall starts playing a song that the smiling happy children sing with and they all have a splendid time as the bomb gets deactivated with the children unaware. :)Other awesomely villainous things the Americans did in the film.
-The Americans in the beginning of the film lined up like a bunch of dorks outside the Turkish office where the eleven Turkish soldiers were, a Turkish machine gun apparently sited well enough to kill half of them (as stated by the Turkish commander who also said that there were 100 Americans and 60 Pershmerga surrounding them) but instead were ordered to stand down.
-The Americans waited outside a wedding until they heard gunfire. One of the soldiers who leads the raid says "Now they are terrorists" as soon as the celebratory gunfire begins and they charge in. The Americans start grabbing random people in the wedding as terrorists, one soldier beats a woman with a rifle butt and then another soldier accidentally shoots a kid in the face who pokes his rifle barrel with a bit of straw. Then the other US soldiers start gunning down men, women and children and the weddinggoers fire back, one of them killing four US soldiers singlehandedly and the groom headbutts a US soldier THROUGH HIS HELMET and KO's him then gets brained by a bullet.
-The Americans haul away the prisoners in a semi truck trailer when one of the soldiers, a Lieutenant who looks almost exactly like UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, tells the raid commander (we'll call him Bob) that they'll suffocate. So Bob and the Tito Ortiz lookalike go back and then Bob opens fire on the trailer gunning down a bunch of the wailing people inside and after emptying TWO clips into them, says "Don't worry, now they won't suffocate."
But the Lieutenant protests, saying he's going to report Bob. So Bob shoots the Lieutenant dead as well.
-The Americans are running an organ transplant ring inside Abu Ghraib prison where the wedding prisoners are transported. They're pulled out of the truck trailer all wounded and wailing still so their kidneys can be ripped out by Gary Busey who portrays a Jewish doctor sending organs to rich Jewish clients living in the US, Great Britain and Israel. He gets angry at Bob for killing them all and says if he does it again, he'll kill him in his sleep.
-Bob and his friends are apparently killing so many Iraqis before they reach Abu Ghraib that Doctor Busey *snigger* tells LT Marshall that.
-Lieutenant Marshall blows away the leader of the Erbil Turkmens pretty much out of spite.
-Awesome Marshall quote on suicide bombers "I don't understand those who dream of going to heaven and yet do not embrace Jesus Christ."
-Marshall plans to raid this Sheikh's village who discourages suicide bombing and even saved the life of an American journalist right before he was going to be beheaded on television because he helps the poor and unemployed and is loved by Turkmen, Arabs and even Kurds. Holy shit, he even helps Kurds?
-In the climax, LT Marshall and his men raid the Sheikh's village and the first building they target with their rockets (besides some tower) is the Mosque where everyone flees to. Fucking sweet! No doubt they thought they'd be safe there after hearing lies that Americans don't target mosques. Well they do in this film bitches, mwaahahahahaha.
-The Americans hand out all of the goodies and MRE's and rations and stuff only to the Kurds at their big Pro-American rallies.
-Many of the Americans even when heading into combat wear only army pants and big green muscle shirts. :p
- Another American soldier breaking into an Iraqi house notices the female protaganist just putting her robe on and after staring at her lecherously says "Do you know what kills Arabian Men?"
"Their women." He then gawks at her some more and then leaves.
Other Cool Things:
-A Sheikh denounces his daughter becoming a suicide bomber because it fails Allah in two ways, first by giving up all hope via suicide, then also by stating it kills the innocent as well as the enemy. The Sheikh also says the West encourages suicide bombing because it weakens Muslims so the West wants such terrorism to increase. The daughter then later unsuccessfully tries to dissuade one of her friends from blowing himself up but fails.
-Said suicide bomber blows up and kills and maims a bunch of Iraqi Turkmen, Kurds, Arabs, Peshmerga and US soldiers then Polat and team start gunning down the Peshmerga and US Soldiers almost right after the bomb goes off and they're busy helping their own wounded. It's hilarious. We denounce suicide bombing... oh my gosh what an opportunity, open fire!
-Polat and company take out four soldiers at a roadblock, three of them quickly in hand to hand combat. How does the fourth soldier die? He stands there fidgeting with his AK-47 because apparently Kurdish soldiers can't figure out how to operate such an unreliable gun as the AK-47 and so gets shot a couple seconds later.
-The reason the Kurds at the roadblock stopped Polat and company is because they identified themselves as "Traders in Humans who learned that life was cheap here." Oh the satire is scathing!
- One pistol shot to the body kills most American troops wearing body armor. Very stormtrooperish.
- Did I mention the Americans beat women with rifle clubs.
- Billy Zane's Lieutenant Sam Marshall character is a great villain. And Gary Busey was busy being Gary Busey, which is good enough.
- They re-enacted the Abu Ghraib scandal thing, complete with a short ugly American woman tossing fat naked Turkmen on top of other stripped naked Arabs. Fucking hilariously random scene that had nothing to do with the film, but was still great.Other Lame Things:
-The American journalist whose life is saved by the Sheikh is handed the very scimitar he was about to be beheaded with and orders him to do what he feels is right to the terrorist, but the journalist refuses to take action and drops the weapon. Boo-ring.
- Almost all of the action scenes were bland, B-movie quality. The final raid involved Polat armed with an M-16, and his three goons (all armed with handguns) wiping out an entire American military force wearing body armor (besides the bodybuilder troops in muscle shirts) armed with humvees, rocket launchers and assault rifles as they massacred the Sheikh's village.
- I didn't mind it too much but for being a so-called big budget film, it has very few hot sexy females in it. The female lead is kinda nice but she's only sexy when she is being gawked at by aforementioned American soldier.
- It's far from being a Turkish Rambo. It's nothing like that at all.
- There aren't more films like this one with Americans being made of cool evil empireness.