The Siege of Jadotville (Rewatch)

#19 – Rewatch on Netflix

After spending two and a half days sleeping off whatever has been ailing me, I felt I should stop watching Parks and Rec and be more productive. In my mind that meant watch a movie and write a review … but I couldn’t find anything worthwhile on Netflix the first few passes through.  I finally settled on Netflix’s The Siege of Jadotville that I halfway watched a few months ago.

Based on the true story of a conflict in Congo / Katanga during the Cold War. A company of Irish soldiers was sent by the UN as a peacekeeping force after the elected prime minister nationalized the mines. He was assassinated shortly thereafter by a militant group that was backed by French and Belgian corporations. Many important minerals came from the region such as uranium, copper, and cobalt … main compenents needed for nuclear bombs. 

This movie features Jamie Dornan as Pat Quinlan, Jason O’Mara as Sgt. Jack Prendergast, Marc Strong as Conor Cruise O’Brian, and Michael McElhatton as General McEntree.

I would give this movie 8 “Cold War conflicts you never knew happened” out of 10.

THE BEST 

While the acting was much better than it should have been, the highlight of this movie was the action. This had some of the best battles out out of almost any war movie. The stage is set with ~1500 Katangese forces / former French legionnaire mercenaries facing off against ~150 Irish war “virgins” in a small intersection that leaves very little in the way of defense. 

The biggest fist pumping moment of the movie is when a fighter jet starts making runs over the area. The only heavy weapon the Irish company has left by that point is a 50 caliber machine gun on a Jeep. In a last ditch effort to take the jet out, they flip over the Jeep to get a vertical aim.

There are also several quotes that lend to the awesomeness such as:

Rene Faulques: You do realize that you are outnumbered by a factor of twenty.
Pat Quinlan: I see a lot of dead men here. None of them are mine.

Pat Quinlan: We’ll hold out until our last bullet is spent. We could do with that whiskey.

General McEntee: Carry out your orders, commandant. Hold your ground. Defend Jadotville.
Pat Quinlan: With what? A firm tone?

Charles Cooley: What’s it like getting shot?
Pat Quinlan: I wouldn’t recommend it.

THE WORST

As much as I would like to say the story was ridiculous, it is mostly true. So for negatives, the only real complaint I have is there could have been either more story or more action. There was a good compromise, but had there been a little more this could have been a perfect movie. This is one of the rare action movies that makes you want more story.

OVERALL

This is one of the better action movies that no one is talking about. It didn’t get a big theatrical release or press release to inform anyone … but just showed up one day on Netflix. What is arguably more interesting is that the story isn’t more popular especially in terms of outnumbered battles such as Thermopylae  (300) and  the Alamo. I would highly recommend watching this ASAP if you have Netflix. 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Rewatching this fantastic war movie makes me want to go back and watch a slightly more popular one, Hacksaw Ridge. It is the story of Desmond T. Doss, the first conscientious objector who won a Congressional Medal of Honor. The action in this movie was so much more realistic, lingering much longer on the aftermath.

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