It's suspected that a peace/anti-nuke organization in UK has some extremists willing to use terrorism. The action will probably be against an embassy in London. The SAS/Special Air Service try to get the organization infiltrated.
Jamie Shannon is a soldier of fortune -- a mercenary who will stage a coup or a revolution for the right price. He is hired by British mining interests to scout out Zangaro, a small African nation with rich mineral deposits but a brutal and xenophobic dictatorship. Arrested soon after his arrival, Shannon is imprisoned as a spy, badly beaten, and tortured. While in prison he meets one of the country's leading intellectuals, Dr. Okoye, also imprisoned by the regime. Eventually released, he returns to London and is subsequently offered to opportunity to secretly invade Zangaro's capital and lead a military coup. Shannon accepts, but quietly has his own agenda to pursue.Written by
John Irvin had previously shot footage in the middle of real-life battles when he worked in a television news crew in Vietnam during the 1960s. Irvin once said: "Unlike most young film directors, I've been in battle. Throughout the '60s I went to various war zones and I met numerous mercenaries in Algeria and South East Asia, so I had my own personal strings to draw on. I would say our depiction of mercenaries is pretty accurate. We talked to a lot of mercenaries and were able to get a lot of information from them about how they would have handled the operation." See more »
The original Manville Gun was designed in 1935 by Charles Manville as a 12gauge multi-barrel shotgun (24 shot capacity). However, the XM-18 in DOW is based on an updated 1936 design as a 25mm grenade launcher with an 18 shot capacity (hence the "18" in XM-18). The movie version was still considerably more powerful than WWII era 25mm grenades were capable of. Unable to interest the military in his design, Manville's company stopped making the weapon. Ironically, in the early 1980's, the movie Dogs of War served to generate some interest from the military. Utilizing updated manufacturing processes and materials, the XM-18 type grenade launcher has actually seen some military service as a 25mm (18 shot) or 40mm (12 shot) grenade launcher. It is used by US Special Forces as well as some South American and African countries. With a range of between 150-350 meters, and with modern explosive technology, the 25mm grenade is fully capable of causing as much or more damage as was portrayed in the film. The 40mm grenade version uses the same projectile as is used in the Mk 19 grenade launcher which is widely used in the US Army. The current manufacturer is the Hawk Engineering Company who makes it under the designation MM-1. See more »
There are several versions of this movie. In the UK a 118 min version was released, in the USA a version of 102 minutes. There are versions released in some countries that have a length in between those two. See more »
The best of the "hired killers takes out a bassackwards third world African nation in ten minutes or less" genre. Christopher Walken fans will love this one as he occupies the camera for about 98% of the film and does an admirable job playing ringleader to a small band of mercenaries hired by London's Enron branch to take down some dude with a Gucci sword named Kimba, the benevolent ruler of Okka Bokka Boo. The pace is a little slow for my tastes but they threw in my favorite girl next door, JoBeth Williams, as Walkens ex-wife just to keep me occupied while the guns were being shipped in from Switzerland or somewhere. All I can tell you is the climax is worth waiting for. It's outstanding actually. The DVD is a little disappointing. 2ch sound and no widescreen. See if you can spot Ed O'Neill from Married With Children fame. 7 hand grenades/10
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