The Odd Angry Shot Film Details
Overview: In between drinking cans of Fosters beer, Australian soldiers tread on a few landmines, and generally experience the war in Vietnam.
Tagline: In Vietnam, the name of the game is survival.
Review: One of the funnier sequences Australian war drama The Odd Angry Shot features somewhat of a mass brawl between the often friendly, although on this occasion rival, Australian and American soldiers at an army camp, when a skirmish that they organise between one side’s “pet” scorpion and one side’s “pet” spider does not unfold in the blood thirsty manner either side would like. To compensate for this, the masses of troops then begin to break out into a fight amongst themselves; a fight designed to quench that thirst for the conflict they all turned up expecting between two creatures, but must then instigate among themselves accordingly. We enjoy the absurdity as well as the rather blackly comic overtone of the scene, the sequence in director Tom Jeffrey’s film rather sadly embodying the overall role these Allies are playing in being there and involved in what is The Vietnam War; principally, a premature instigating of conflict with those it is they’ve gone out of their way to interfere with, that has initially come across as organised and preordained, and yet has then spiralled out of control into free-for-all brawls and unhinged chaos in which people might get seriously hurt. The film begins and ends with a commemoration, the opening is a birthday and strikes us as chaotic and busy and contains a character looking a little like Norman Bates envisaging sexual intercourse with a girl he quite likes the look of; the ending being what strikes us as the lone occasion two soldiers share the frame together and appear to be able to keep their mouths shut for longer than a duration of a few seconds, an instance born out of their newfound ability to enjoy a particular view with little else on their minds other than how far they’ve come and how much they’ve matured. We begin with that aforementioned character; a fast-talking, frenetic young man named Harry (Kennedy), whose birthday gathering is full of those he knows and loves in the form of family members and additionally sports a banner above him with the words “Bon Voyage” all over it. The reasoning for which lies in the fact young Harry is off to Vietnam, no less; a serving in the War with that of an Australian unit aiding the Americans in that perilous Asian jungle-set conflict of the early 1960s heading on into the mid 70s. Harry, and some new recruits, jet off to their surroundings, triumphantly; the film granting them a rousing send off to beer and banter whilst on board as they fly out of Oz as if romping off for a holiday somewhere. The reality is really quite different, since life in the ‘Nam, specifically their muddy headquartered camp, is less than desirable in that it rains; the others that Harry and co. meet up with are antagonistic and certain precautions in regards to one’s health and the exposing of one’s self to the elements take a queasy centre stage. These boys are not to be discouraged; they hunt, indeed crave, the warfare. A patrol out in the dense jungles of somewhere sees very little transpire to actually be out there bar an awful lot of standing around and waiting for something to kick off, causing one of them to exclaim that they may as well be back at home and in front of some B-movie war film on the TV such is the sparseness of action. Such a film they might as well have been watching could arrive in the form of The Great Escape; John Stuges’ romping prisoner of war film, which diluted harsher realities of war for an array of instantly recognisable actors playing rounded characters of varying ages and nationalities attempting to thwart the dastardly Hun in an array of humorous ways, the mentioning of one of that respective film’s stars in Steve McQueen in this, fleetingly at a canteen, director Jeffrey’s own verbal reiteration of his consummate rejection of such an approach to a war film as things continue to play out. Preceeding the likes of Platoon, and doing a much better job at what it covers than that of something like Sam Mendes’ 2006 piece Jarhead, The Odd Angry Shot covers that of the tribulations and trials of an extroverted Aussie Air Service Regiment stuck in the back end of nowhere squabbling amidst themselves; waiting on conflict and doing their best to keep clear of infection and illness; indeed, the titular odd and angry shot is in reference to that of what little conflict rears up. Here is one of those tricky, knotty war films rejecting unrealistic bravery; stone-wall leads and causality driven missions that either end gloriously in the Allies’ favour or ingloriously in the Allies’ favour, the film a grubby, dialogue-driven if anything else, episodic drama exposing heroism and the lust for brutality whose general sensibility wouldn’t necessarily go amiss on the stage and whose nature is persistently involving and engaging. The film’s dialogue is a real high point to proceedings, delivered in a manner we sense troops of this age in this scenario would commonly do so and rather refreshing in comparison to mission exposition and so forth often rife within other genre pieces. The film’s cast are uniformly spectacular; their delivery of the screenplay, belting out one-liners and exchanging quips, is executed in a fashion that has us feel as if they’ve known one another for eons. The location shooting, I read, within certain domesticated locales looks rich and convincing; the drama sharp, the writing smart and the covering of a war mongering, unbalanced young soldier going through a nastier experience than he would’ve liked whilst abroad fighting quite affecting.
Duration: 92 min
Genre: Action, Comedy, War
Also known as: The Odd Angry Shot,Περίπολος μάχης,Vietnam – The Odd Angry Shot,Злой выстрел,Special Air Patrol 22,Academia de Herois,Ομάδα αναγνώρισης 202,Jungelgerilian,Äkäinen luoti tappaa,Fandens til krig,Tilbaka från helvetet,Durch die Hölle Vietnams