A British war thriller, is based on a true story of what happened to Corporal Mark Wright and his men while patrolling near Afghanistan’s Kajaki Dam in Helmand Province one fateful day in September, 2006. One of them stumbles on a landmine and is seriously injured. The unmarked mines are a legacy of the Soviet-Afghan war when the Soviets laid millions of them across the Afghan countryside to combat insurgents. Help arrives but things go terribly wrong and hope hangs on a thread when these brave soldiers come to grips with their new reality. Not only must they deal with the invisible Taliban who lurk in the hillsides but contend with a minefield of unmarked mines they find themselves maneuvering in.
The film dramatizes the life of these British soldiers as events unfold on this horrifying day in an inhospitable and harsh environment. The element of unknown danger weaves itself throughout the narrative of the film and doesn’t let up. It begins with the opening scene of Tug, the British medic, enjoying a leisurely swim in the river when suddenly he is scared out of his wits when some local Afghan boys use hand grenades to fish. Mark Stanley who plays Tug gives a stellar performance. I must admit that I struggled a little bit in the beginning with the British army lingo but the acting, the cinematography which gave the film a documentary like quality, and the gripping storyline more than made up for it. Like any good war movie, combat and rescue scenes are essential and those in the film are blood curdling as they depict the gruesome realities of war faced by the men and women who fight them.
I was moved by the camaraderie of the British soldiers, their bantering, and sense of humour as they tried to keep it together. Their compassion and unwavering commitment to save their own and themselves drew me into this compelling story helped by a superb script and great acting. David Elliott who gave a poignant portrayal of Corporal Mark Wright won a BAFTA Scotland Award as Best Actor. The film has garnered a number of awards and nominations. It won a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) in the category of Producer of the Year for Paul Katis (also the director), and Andrew de Lotbiniere.
You can watch it as an excellent war movie that celebrates male heroism and bravery or as a cautionary tale of what happens when you find yourself in a place where you are not wanted or invited.
I give it two thumbs up and recommend you see it for you won’t be disappointed.
Watch the trailer for Kilo Two Bravo below!
Search Engine Films released Kilo Two Bravo on DVD on Tuesday, March 8.
[Review by Stefan Chiarantano]