Age of Heroes is currently available on instant Netflix
Age of Heroes (2011) – Not rated
“Inspired by real events, this thriller follows members of Britain’s newly formed No. 30 Commando unit as they infiltrate Nazi-occupied Norway, intent on stealing German radar technology that could prove crucial to the Allied war effort.”
“You are here because you are scum.”
Well I could start this off with, “they don’t make them like this any more” but outright theft/homage/pastiche would be more accurate. Pulling prisoners for a special mission comes from The Dirty Dozen. The training instructor character and dialogue are ripped straight from The Wild Geese (1978 – also available on instant Netflix).
Age of Heroes seems a deliberate throwback to 60s and 70s WWII caper movies. We get an introduction to our characters, a prison scene, training scenes (not a montage thankfully), spend some time on the plan, and finally jump into action for the second half of the film.
For humor value, I’d like to see one of these movies where everything went according to plan. Here things go hilariously awry very quickly. Yes, they land in the wrong place. Yes, they suffer casualties before hitting the ground. Yes, they lose much of their kit. Yes, the radio is the first item to go missing. Naturally, that is just the beginning of their problems.
Sean Bean is 52 here but they’ve gone to a great deal of trouble to ‘young’ him up. He is his usual tough, gruff self but the star of the film is actually Danny Dyer as Cpl. Bob Rains. Cpl. Rains was, of course, in prison for insubordination. Danny Dyer is quite good as the lead – a big change from his normal supporting roles. Izabella Miko does a nice job as Jensen, the commando’s enigmatic contact.
The Norwegian landscape is quite beautiful and filmed to good effect. Age of Heroes doesn’t have a Hollywood budget but does well except for the flight scenes and a particular explosion. Fight scenes are exciting and the film is briskly paced. Age of Heroes is not a classic but is an enjoyable WWII caper film.
People Watch: Look for James D’Arcy playing a real-life Lt. Commander Ian Fleming (yes the author of the James Bond novels). He recently did a great job impersonating Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock.