I can’t really remember how I first heard about Age of Heroes. I’m pretty sure it was on Twitter. After a little research I learnt that it was a new WW2 film starting Danny Dyer and Sean Bean and based (loosely) around the exploits of 30AU Commando, a British special forces team forced by none other than James Bond creator Ian Flemming. How could anything be more awesome?
I’m a big fan of modern WW2 films and shows, I loved Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. I’d be moaning for years that no one had done a British version. After all the Americans didn’t do everything. Our special forces were pretty special after all. The American rangers actually learnt their techniques from British Commandos. So finally someone had done it, someone made a good Brit-flick. But what’s this? It’s not on the big screen? It’s going straight to DVD? Bloody hell! *insert grumbles*.
Knowing this, I was a little apprehensive. Perhaps it’s rubbish? No, surely it can’t be? Danny Dyer and Sean Bean? It’s got to be good. So sod the cinema – ordered it on Blu Ray and when the wife went out, I sat down for a good boys night.
I have to admit, I was apprehensive at first and when the trailers kicked in for awful looking films like some nonsense about the story of Ahab and the whale (only with dragons instead of whales), my heart sank. I had no real reason to worry though it seems.
Age of Heroes kicks off nicely with the British retreat and extraction through Dunkirk in 1940. Danny Dyer plays his usual hard-geezer – head butting officers, killing Germans and taking gyp from no one. With most of his unit slaughtered, he’s desperately trying to get his handful of men to Dunkirk and freedom, but ends up getting arrested for cowardice instead.
Meanwhile, plans are underway for a special operation (Grendel) into occupied Norway to steal Nazi radar technology. A new unit is to be formed under the instruction of Ian Flemming for exactly this task. Dyer’s character holds the CO hostage to escape from prison and manages to wiggle his way into the unit.
Based (loosely) on the actual events of Operation Grendel, Age of Heroes is the harrowing tale of struggle, survival and triumph against the Nazis. The 8 man commando team, armed with thompson smgs and explosives face off against the vicious SS deaths head division. They are horribly out-numbered and out-gunned, but certainly not without hope.
The film does a good job of making you hate the SS and will on our brave heroes after some rather horrific carnage and blood-thirsty murder that the SS are renowned for.
Being a straight-to-DVD film I was expecting it to be low-budget, but if it was it honestly didn’t show. On Blu Ray the picture quality was excellent, the acting was first-class and the action was pretty fantastic. Okay, so it won’t be film of the year, but as a homage to the British heroes of the time it does very well. I won’t say any more to save spoiling the story for you, but it’s a thoroughly good British romp and a suitably spiffing tribute to the magnificent heroes of WW2.
Edit I have recently been informed by an internet troll/keyboard warrior that I was mistaken Operation Grendel never took place, Hollywood lied again. However a similar operation did take place, though I believe it was in France and carried out by paratroopers, so the story isn’t an utter stretch of the truth. I’m not going to back this up with facts, go read some books.