Bravo Two Zero (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

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Fascinating and riveting
jnefinn22 February 2005
I first saw a documentary on the Discovery channel about the mission that is portrayed in this movie. I know a lot about the history of the Gulf War but I had never heard about this particular mission. I was completely fascinated as to what these soldiers went through and how they managed to deal with their incredible situation.

Then by pure coincidence, about a week later I stumbled across this movie on cable. The movie dramatized the mission slightly and gave it a very personal feeling, which is captured wonderfully by the actors portraying the soldiers. The movie gives a very real sense of the comradery, dedication, and professionalism that Special Forces troops exhibit. I would definitely recommend this movie if you have a fascination or appreciation for the military.
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draconian131317 October 2004
This movie is one of the most realistic Military movies that I have ever seen. Of course there are the overly powerful grenades and M-72 Rocket Launchers, but other than small Hollywood type explosions this movie shows great detail about a military patrol from the weight of a Rucksack, to the drills used to break contact with the enemy, Section attacks, how to re-organize going into a defensive position. But what the movie captures the best is the interaction between the soldiers. For those of us who have been, or currently are, this movie captures the comradery, the sense of humour that is quite unique to the military, and most importantly the bond between each of us that drives us to not quit on each other.
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A gritty, understated and ultra realistic account of a true-life Gulf War incident.
tonyearnshaw12 August 2004
It took the BBC to tell this gripping story honestly and with authenticity. And what a story. As the Gulf War got underway in early 1991 an eight-man SAS patrol was dropped behind Iraqi lines. Its mission: destroy mobile Scud missile launchers and the lines that carried instructions from their crews.

History shows how it all went wrong. Their communications equipment failed. The weather closed in. They were discovered and fought a series of running battles with overwhelming Iraqi forces. Finally half the patrol was captured and endured weeks of torture and interrogation at the hands of the Iraqi secret police in Baghdad.

The story of Bravo Two Zero - the patrol's call sign and the title of this terrific British television movie - puts most Hollywood movies to shame. It is a story of courage, resilience, guile, resourcefulness and black humour. It also offers up a fascinating insight into the workings of Britain's special forces and the reality of the Gulf War.

There are those who consider the film one-sided, and it is. What war film isn't? How much objectivity goes into the average war film? The answer: precious little. Bravo Two Zero is based on the book by Andy McNab, the SAS sergeant who led the patrol. Consequently it tells the tale from his point of view.

But McNab doesn't come out of this a whiter-than-white superhero. He makes mistakes. He is human, fallible and, locked in a Baghdad prison, frightened out of his wits. For Sean Bean, it was the type of gritty, realistic and believable role that most actors would kill for. Throw in the authenticity of the soldiers' kit, jargon and reactions under fire - they were trained by real soldiers while McNab himself was the film's on-set consultant - and Bravo Two Zero leaps to the top spot in the (albeit limited) annals of Gulf War movies.

And the Iraqis? They are depicted as McNab saw them: peasant farmers, ill-equipped and poorly trained conscripts, goat herders, grieving parents and, occasionally, gentleman officers.

There is no agenda to Bravo Two Zero. Instead it seeks to present a soldier's story. And while there is another side to the story - patrol survivor Chris Ryan, who was separated from his comrades and fought his way across Iraq to the Syrian border, and freedom, also wrote an account - this is simply one man's version of events. McNab presents it as he saw it: a botched mission, eight desperate men, a series of bloody firefights and skirmishes, capture and torture and, finally, repatriation.

If the Iraqis come across as thuggish, brutal, dim and sadistic, then history has shown that Saddam Hussein's regime was built on such people. That was McNab's experience, and Bravo Two Zero puts it on screen.

What the film does not seek to do is present McNab and his patrol as trigger-happy killing machines. When they are spotted by an Iraqi child they spare his life rather than kill him to ensure his silence. As McNab says, it's a matter of common sense: kill a child and they will eventually face the wrath of the Iraqi people if they are caught. And, he adds: "We're not into that anyway".

Compromised by an elderly shepherd, they talk to him, make friends and let him live. On the outskirts of Baghdad the patrol hijacks a taxi. They spare the occupants. Consider this: would the average Saddam Hussein loyalist have done the same to an elderly Yank or Brit?

Bravo Two Zero is a superb document of a military debacle. It shows how professional soldiers, caught in a disaster, try to fight their way out. As soldiers, that's their job. And they do it exceptionally well. As the motto goes: Who Dares Wins. McNab and his men dared. Bravo Two Zero is a magnificent tribute to them.
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Sharpe with M-16's
Spud10008 January 1999
When I first heard that the BBC were making a film of Bravo Two Zero starring Sean Bean I got very excited and I am pleased to say I wasn't disappointed. The whole thing positively oozes authenticity with a great attention to detail. The combat sequences had me jumping out of my seat and yet they aren't overplayed.

Sean Bean is excellent. I mean he is superb. Admittedly, his performance lends a lot to Sharpe but it doesn't suffer for it. If there was an Oscar for being hard then he should get it.

I think the only real problem with the film was that of pacing. Not that there was much they could have done about it being based on a true story but it seemed to wind down a bit too gradually. That won't stop me buying it on video however.

To sum up: I'm going to have to read the book now.
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A War movie that spends more time on the characters & and mission that how much was spent on special effects!
Unforgiven515019 December 2002
Well from what was written before, I would like to say 2 things to start: #1. I hope all people in the Netherlands aren't as ignorant as the person who wrote a review on war. And number 2, if you are going to bash a person by name, get it right, it's McNab, not McNam. Also at IMDB people want to hear what you thought about the movie, not your political ideas!

I feel this movie showed a picture of what these men went through and the bonds they make being on an SAS team. In my opinion, there really aren't many other professions that earn my respect more than Special Forces of any military. These men go into situations and places they shouldn't be, full well knowing that there is a great chance they won't make it out. I feel this movie balanced that idea with the idea that these men also understand that they have to get on with life and deal with the profession they have chosen. Instead of spending the budget and trying to impress the audience with flashy special effects and the newest and neatest gadgets in film making, this film spent more time on what happened and on the characters.

Having not read the book yet, I cannot say if it followed the book, however after watching the film it has sparked my interest to get McNab's books and also Ryan's book on the same subject.

I did find myself rewinding and turning the DVD subtitles on more than once as they filmed the movie using the British slang and way of speaking and military jargon. While this may make it a little more difficult for anyone who didn't grow up on the streets of England, I feel this added quite a bit to the realism of the movie.

If you can get past the fact it does not have flashy effects to keep some of you interested and the slang, I suggest this movie for any war movie buff.

One more comment on something our friend from the Netherlands said, I don't recall McNab saying he has a license to kill at the end of the movie. I'm pretty sure it was just "I'm a soldier". Get your facts straight.
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One of the few very good true war stories.
Danny-Rodriguez18 April 2006
I was first told about Andy McNabb from a half-insane guy who played the main character in a movie which was shot in my home town. I talked to him for a long time and we got talking about books and I mentioned I was a big Clancy fan. He said if I liked Clancy i should check out Andy McNabb. I hadn't seen Heat at the time but he recommended it because McNabb was a technical weapons training adviser on it. And he said that many people reacted very well to the fact that everyone in that movie held their guns and rifles correctly and changing the clip in a professional way. Later on i saw Heat and I was very impressed. I haven't read anything by McNabb yet but I think i will. definitely after seeing this.

The film Bravo Two Zero tells the story about eight SAS soldiers who was sent behind enemy lines in The Gulf War. The opening montage of this film sucked me straight in. a composition of old Gulf War footage and news reports. it then cuts to a title card which says that this is a true story accompanied with the song "Londons Calling" by The Clash. The film continues to be very realistic all the way through. Not much clichéd hero stuff but rather to quote that guy who first told me about McNabb: "It's about misery. This is a real story about a real James Bond. No champagne or beautiful women." And enemy is not portrayed as villains or dumb like in oh so many Hollywood films. It is rumored though that McNabb exaggerated a bit on how many enemies they killed but this isn't a very large factor in the story. The story is not about how many enemies they killed. It's about survival and misery.

This is very impressive for a TV movie and Sean Bean most certainly doesn't make it worse. Definitely recommended to you who like realistic stories like Tom Clancy's books.
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For a dubious story, a great film.
absolut_nick28 March 2004
As a soldier and something of a war movie buff, it's refreshing to see a good story turned into a film that doesn't add the Hollywood effect of lack of realism. Bravo Two Zero tells the story of a Special Air Service patrol in Iraq during the Gulf War as realistically as possible, right down to the amount of gear they lug and what difficulties lie in tactical operations.

Having "Andy McNab" as a military advisor seems to have paid off in spades, as everything you see in the movie is how it really works, down to the textbook section attack they execute against the Iraqis.

If you haven't read the book, do so. Then read Chris Ryan's "The One That Got Away", which tells his side of the story. Then read Peter Ratcliffe's "Eye of the Storm" and Michael Asher's "The Real Bravo Two Zero" and decide how much of the tale you actually believe. Worth a look.
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Just the facts.
rmax3048231 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I've given this film a good rating because, based as it is on a set of particular facts, it doesn't fit into the usual war-film mold. It may be so mainly by default, but that doesn't make it any less original. Here's the mold. A small group of soldiers sets out on a difficult mission. There are fire fights. Some of the men die. The enemy is faceless. The mission is successfully completed. If they are captured, they escape. If the patrol was cocky at the start, they return chastened. That template doesn't apply here.

In this film, the impression one gets is that the mission of the British patrol was only partly completed, since their presence was discovered and they had to leave their observation post under fire. In trying to reach the safety of the Syrian border the eight men lose each other. And Andy MacNab (Sean Bean) is captured by Iraqis.

The second half of the film has us watching his suffering in a special prison. The Iraqis aren't entirely faceless either. They beat hell out of MacNab but not before showing us some of the reasons for the Iraqi's rage. An elderly man, weeping operatically, uncovers the mutilated body of his son, one of the Iraqi soldiers killed during a fire fight, before throwing himself on a British prisoner and feebly squeezing and pinching his face. Later we learn that the patrol has killed more than a hundred Iraqis and put another hundred in the hospital.

The torture MacNab and the two other members of his patrol undergo is convincing without being overly dwelt on. He spends most of his time manacled, stripped, and blindfolded. A dentist pulls out one of MacNab's teeth. But the most telling degradation is when MacNab is forced to clean out a primitive toilet that has become clogged, using only his bare hands, and when finished, he is made to lick his hands clean. A viewer might ask if this is really "torture", and the answer might well be, "not according to the definition now employed by the US government, since there is no pain and no question of organ failure."

Unlike most fictional war stories, the three British prisoners don't escape. Moreover, MacNab tells his captors what they want to know about his unit and its mission, distributing little misleading lies here and there to diminish the value of the information. Of course MacNab protests the Iraqi treatment of him and his two colleagues because it isn't permitted by the Geneva Convention. His captor deals him a blow and adds, "We are not in Geneva."

MacNab and four others out of the eight-man patrol manage to reach home through the offices of the Red Cross. "War is barbaric," MacNab muses, but he holds little ill will against his torturers since they were just doing their jobs. He does, however, dislike the Iraqis who seemed to enjoy inflicting pain, and if he met one of them on the street, he would probably slug him. At least I THINK that's what he thought. The working-class accents and the slang were so thick that I was unable to understand some of the exchanges.

MacNab is pretty philosophical about his experiences, and not at all chastened or brutalized. Naturally war is barbaric, but MacNab knew that going in, and he has no intention of giving up the profession of arms. He doesn't seem to have any real enemies, doesn't hate anybody, and surely isn't anxious to be captured and tortured again, but what the hell, the army has given him a chance to be all he can be!

In the usual war movie, our side almost always wins, sometimes at great sacrifice. Here, the conflict kind of peters out, as great historical events have a way of doing. That may or may not make for a satisfying narrative, but it does resemble life a little more closely.
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A grim yet solemn glimpse into the gulf war.
Lemmcon120 September 1999
I was impressed by the realism and character representation of this film. In ways, it views like a documentary, and considering the fact that it is a true story, played out with true to life quality acting instead of conventional over dramatisation, thinking of it as a documentation is not altogether inaccurate.

It's unfortunate that the Australian censorship board did not allow this movie to reach Australia by any commercial means. I had to have it sent by someone who taped it off the BBC. The justification was that it would offend the middle eastern residents of Australia, however this is an unjust violation of free speech
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SEALmeat752 August 2003
This movie is amazing. The book was unbelievable and I strongly recommend that if you watch the movie, you read the book...or vice versa. The acting by Sean Bean is terrific. He captures the ruggedness and superhuman toughness Andy McNab displays in his novel (Bravo Two Zero) perfectly. This incredible story of the SAS and what the human body can do and withstand is a must for those interested in pursuing a career in Military Special Operations...this is what can happen if you are unlucky.
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Involving military adventure.
Yo!Jimbo18 February 2002
Particularly enjoyed seeing the military tactics and procedures used by a small patrol in carrying out their mission and saving their butts. These guys earned their medals. Interesting that women liked this movie more than men (per IMDB votes); Must be Sean Bean.
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"Bravo Two Zero" is a perfect example of how a great war movie should be.
Severance9614 July 2002
When I first heard of the film "Bravo Two Zero", I thought it would be another American b-action, and to be honest hoped it to be one. To my surprise it was anything but a b-action movie.

To make it short, "Bravo Two Zero" is a perfect example of how a great war movie should be. Not only by the great acting and remarkably good story, but by parts where you actually laughed and sometimes even cried. Through my years of a big war fan, have I gotten the chance to see a lot of movies based on wars. Some of them really good like "Full Metal Jacket" but others kind of wasteless b-action. Another thing that made the movie a little bit more attractive was that it wasn't about the Vietnam War or WWII which most movies are about, and I must say that I am a bit tired of the same story just with other actors or sets.

To sum the whole thing up, I really enjoyed watching this movie! To be honest, I have strong difficulties to find anything to remark on. The only thing I can be a little harsch on, is that there seem to be missing a part in the end of the movie. I won't tell you when or where, but I'll think you'll notice that.

I gave the movie a 9, which can seem like a whole lot, but I really fancied the movie and think that It's worth a nine. So now, even if you are not a war movie fan, go fetch "Bravo Two Zero" it's worth it!
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ed-30517 January 2001
this is a great film, it looks at one of britains most secret force and tells a true story of Sergeant Andy McNabb and his patrol deep in Iraq attempting to destroy scuds and communication lines.

A war story that has stuck to the facts and hasn't been converted to suit the audience. Very gripping and well told story.
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A good film, portraying the bravery and courage of a few good men.
Soul_Stealer_200121 November 2005
Firstly to anyone who thinks they know so much about this story, and think lightly of these men.

I would just like to say that this film and story is under rated, and surrounded by people judging these soldiers even though they themselves have never lifted an air gun or a paint-ball gun, let alone fought or served for their country.

The SAS, and the armed forces is full of people willing to put their life on the line. To leave their warm beds and spend hours, days, or weeks in uncomfortable terrain, so stop your whinging!

Because without them you would be using that fat arse of yours to run away like the phucking cowards you probably are.

Either way i liked this film.

I mean for all the military jargon and slang you may have to watch it a few more times, and get someone in the know to translate, but it is a good film.

Not that much money was spent on it, and the special effects are limited, but it is a good portrayal of their life in Hereford, England, where the SAS is based, to Iraq. There is also some funny moments to lighten the mood.

If you really want to get to grips with the story, read the book "Bravo Two Zero".

It has much more detail, especially about the gruesome torture they were put through.

Other books include:

"The One That Got Away", by Chris Ryan. "Soldier Five", By Mike Coburn and "The Real Bravo Two Zero", by Michael asher.

Each give their own opinion, so its hard to tell who is telling the truth.

Either way the film is good, and some people might have to watch it more than once, but it is enjoyable.

You laugh and maybe cry and anything else as you follow them.

Sean Bean plays the part well, as do the supporting cast of unknown and small time actors. One of those actors has since done well.

That actor is Rick Warden, who plays Tony. He has since been in "Band of Brothers", and the TV series "Rome", showing on BBC one.

Either way watch this is good and a good watch.

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True to Form
littlewozo18 January 2004
As a fan of both Sean Bean and Andy McNab, I can say that this is one of the best adaptations of a true war story I've ever seen. It captures the essence of the men without dramatizing the plot. From what I've read, as far as McNab's book and declassified documents, everything is as it was.
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Bravo two Zero
forbidden_lover18 June 2005
This movie was a amazing film. Though I do not recommend it to younger people or people who are sensitive about the events that happened to Mister Macnab. The acting in this film was amazing. Sean Bean did a wonderful job as the soldier, the good guy. Which seems to be the best role for him, not the baddie! But, this film was amazing. With a good ending and a story that makes you think, wow, those men actually went out there to help people. Though, it could be rather sad and frightening at times. I would not recommend minors seeing it, or people sensitive to war violence. But, other than that, go see it. It is a wonderful movie.
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Absolutely Riveting
QueenofBean19 October 2003
This film about a British Spec. Ops officer and his men trapped in the middle east after a botched mission during the Gulf War was absolutely amazing. Based on the true story by Andy McNab, Sean Bean captured this essence of this role fantastically. The dreadful things they went through combined with the horrors they faced, accentuated by their incredible bravery made this true-to-life tale almost larger than life.

I can say nothing bad about this movie!
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Excellent acting
lucas_denoir15 March 2002
I really enjoyed this movie. Up to this movie I had only seen Sean Bean play over-acted bad guy characters. In this movie however he gave a truly superb performance. The movie was otherwise good - good action scenes and so on. Still, the best reason to see it is to see Sean Beans brilliant and human interpretation of the main character Andy McNab.
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An Undiscovered Gem
oyerbides28 December 2001
I had read the book a few years back and was curious when I saw it in the new release section of the local video store. I think this movie deserves a look especially in light of the recent events of 9/11. I found the movie was a simple yet very engaging account of modern warfare and the problems of special forces. Although the movie lacks some of the Hollywood polish and action glitz I don't think it hurts it one bit. In fact the exact opposite is true. The understated filming and pace make it that much more enjoyable.
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Bravo Two Zero
deltajvliet1 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Based on the book of the same name by Andy McNab, a pseudonym for the squad leader of a real life, ill-fated SAS patrol during the Gulf War, Bravo Two Zero tells the story of several soldiers stuck behind enemy lines. They're outnumbered, hopelessly ill-equipped, and surrounded by the Iraqi army, conveniently standing in the way of their extraction point.

Patrol leader Andy McNab (Sean Bean) elects to go to Plan B, make a 160 km trek to the Syrian border through the freezing desert as Iraqi forces close in. What ensues is a desperate struggle for survival. The group gets split up, frost bite sets in, skirmishes transpire... It's a story of heroism and courage. But it's more than that. We also see how these men are only human, how in spite of their bravery they make a series of significant, occasionally deadly mistakes.

Many claim McNab changed or exaggerated parts of the story to save face and look good, but I'm mostly indifferent to the controversy. Whether or not parts were fabricated or the enemy kill count was embellished, the movie as it stands is a terrific modern warfare film boasting realistic tactics, believable characters, and the depiction of an immeasurable will to survive.

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Hard to believe that such an excellent movie came out of the BBC
rlange-314 August 2007
The BBC is notorious for its anti-military bias and opposition to anything that makes either America or the British military look good. Yet here we have one of the finest squad level war movies ever made. So do not look the gift horse in the mouth. Instead watch a brutally realistic movie about a group of highly trained soldiers who see their way through a thoroughly botched mission and emerge heroes.

But this outcome is not the result of Rambo style glorification of violence, but a balanced treatment of highly professional decision making, camaraderie, and thoroughly botched logistics. In other words it is as real as it gets at the movies.
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Not bad at all!
chucknorrisrules24 August 2007
I bought the DVD after seeing a few clips of the film on YouTube, and after some of the more ridiculous things thrown about in Ultimate Force on ITV (which is a pretty poor TV station anyway), I decided to see the BBC's take on the SAS. As it turned out, I wasn't disappointed! Unlike ITV, the BBC had really done their homework (and being someone who knows a little about the SAS myself, I liked what I saw).

The storyline was very true to the nature of the book, and unlike with ITV, the characters, atmosphere, acting and all the details gave you the right idea.

The film fell down in quality a little on a few points. Sean Bean still unaccountably carried his Yorkshire accent when playing the Londoner Andy McNab. The three characters who were killed were vaguely mentioned and brushed aside as if they never mattered, and some of the firefights were a little ridiculous, though I think the latter is to do with the nature of the book rather than anything else.

However, aside from that, the film really did well and I was quite impressed with it. The actors were excellent, and also believable, so I give it the thumbs up!
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Good Movie adaptation of a great book!
cdoink7 December 2003
Just saw Bravo Two Zero today for the first time. I had been meaning to check it out for a while now, ever since I had read the book by Andy McNabb. Anyways, it's a good movie but if you liked it I would definitly recommend reading the book if you havn't read it already. It goes into a lot more detail and amazingly, there is a lot more to the story than what the movie shows us.
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When it goes wrong. it goes wrong.
j-scott3316 December 2002
The true story of an eight man team of SAS special forces who are dropped behind enemy lines in Iraq. There two fold mission is to take out the M.R.S lines (main supply route) and any scud missile launchers they encounter. It all goes wrong from day one and they are forced to flee across Iraq with their pursuers hot on their trail. Memorable performance from Sean Bean
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