French film - Indigenes aka Days of Glory

A good idea appallingly executed.

On the plus side:

It looks good mostly.

The story of French Colonial troops during WW2 is interesting, although it uses every cliche in the book and a few more.

The non-combat acting is generally good and the characters sympathetic.

However, if you like your films thoroughly researched then avoid this like the plague. The combat scenes are ludicrous, and ripped-off from Saving Private Ryan. There is an appalling plot twist which sees a section of 4 marching off to defend a bridge from the Germans, including an extended route march over mountains eerily similar to the Misty Mountains from the Lord of the Rings! The climactic battle at the end is laughable, the French Colonials fight bravely but without any credibility and the Germans just roll over and die. The anachronistic hand signals that date from Vietnam War films are a constant presence, despite the absence of any other orders or tactics and an apparent reliance on telepathy as an alternate communications method. The film takes a constant delight in silhouetting soldiers against ridgelines, bunched together for directorial expediency.
At one point someone actually loads a clip into what appeared to be a MAS-36 rifle. Other than this, the magazines must have been bottomless.

Rant over. Letters from Iwo Jima next on the list!

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