Mercenaries is a low budget UK action film.
Mercenaries is a low budget UK action film. The premise of the film is that a wanted war criminal takes over a region of the Balkans, kidnapping a US ambassador and his assistant in the process. In a rather intriguing plot point and unexplained reason the US army, rather than send their own people in, decide that a group of ex-SAS mercenaries would be more suitable. Seems logical. However apart from a few hiccups the mission is completed rather swimmingly. Yet when it looks like it is all over this is where the film really starts. Leader of the Mercenaries Andy Marlow, now has to escort not only the ambassador and his aide across treacherous terrain he has also obtained the possession of said war criminal. And that is basically the plot of the entire film. Not much else happens throughout it’s 97 minutes, however to be overly critical of this would be unfair, so lets look at its positives and more interesting aspects.
For a start the actors aren’t that bad considering most of them have been horribly miscast and the script is lacking in any sort of fortitude. Robert Fucilla who plays the main merc has potential as an actor but doesn’t look anywhere near as mean as he should be or what the stereotypical SAS man should look like. Or at least what Andy McNab would like us to believe. The same can be said for his fellow Mercenaries who are equally enjoyable and provide a few laughs. Its nice to see Vas Blackwood, who has appeared in countless British TV shows and also Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, is still getting work today. But perhaps the biggest star in Mercenaries was at one time one of the biggest actors in the world. Billy Zane has a relatively small role in this film but whenever he is on screen you can’t help but be captivated by his presence and you want to see more of him. This beggars the question why isn’t Billy Zane now appearing in all fairness B-movies. For quite some time during the 90’s Zane was in big films with revered roles. Dead Calm, Tombstone and Twin Peaks are the highlights of his career and lets not forget, he was the best thing about James Cameron‘s Titanic. But some where around the turn of the century Zane lost his way. It’s great to see that he is still an in demand actor but it would be nice to see him in something deserving of his standards.
For the majority of the film the actors are left to carry what is going on. The action throughout never really gets off the ground and, apart from the finale, seems to just be filler. The plot though is strong throughout and for any fans of the Call of Duty video games it could read as one of the better levels from that series. It does let it self down with some illogical reasoning and a rather ill advised reference to the 7/7 London bombings towards the end. However if your a fan of low budget, army based action films, Mercenaries might be worth a flutter.