By: Shahbaz Khayambashi
Kilo Two Bravo may have surprised me, but Paul Katis’ film would have ultimately been better if it ditched the first and third acts.
There is nothing new about the setup of this film: it is yet another bit of neo-white man’s burden propaganda which shows the importance of war while almost completely erasing the local victims of the aggression. It is only in the second act that the film finds its bearings – turning from a war film to a single-set horror film – where the villainous spectre of war manifests itself in a field full of landmines. Unfortunately, any criticism of the inherent disorganization of military forces is undercut, left and right, by clichés which only increase as the plot advances.
Kilo Two Bravo is aided by incredible performances all around and the relentless, realistic carnage and gore, but – again – this movie is in a constant struggle between innovation and formula, falling back on established war film concepts and morals every time it seems like it is about to go somewhere more experimental. This also results in a final product that goes so far into the fetishization of militarism that it somehow mistakes the aggressors for the victims, resulting in a postscript that destroys any message that the film’s middle, well-intentioned section may have created. Yes, it is possible for aggressors to suffer, but to so blatantly forget – or rather ignore – the actual victims will not do favours to your movie.
Considering the subject matter and the date of its wide release (both on iTunes and in theatres), I can’t help but feel that this British product was rushed out to take advantage of Remembrance Day and Veterans Day audiences. So, if you’re looking for a movie about the suffering caused by war without any nuance or extensive thought, this could be for you. Otherwise, wait for a home release, so you can fast forward through the unnecessary segments and pretend Kilo Two Bravo is a well-made horror short.
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Shahbaz Khayambashi: @Shakhayam