The review of Fortunes of War showcases a determined and resilient attitude in a story about British individuals fleeing from the invading Wehrmacht.

Estimated read time 2 min read

Here’s yet another low-budget, straight-to-streaming British second world war flick: just as much of a men-on-a-mission throwback as last month’s War Blade, but a few notches more competent thanks to a more compact setup, occasional bursts of galvanic film-making from director Bill Thomas, and a grimier tone that is more Dirty Dozen than Saving Private Ryan.

It’s a critical moment; Sergeant Mason (played by James Oliver Wheatley) and his inexperienced commando team fail in their attempt to ambush a Nazi convoy and must flee across Normandy as the enemy continues to pursue them. Seeking refuge in a rundown farmhouse, they prepare for the impending siege, despite the objections of the Belgian owner Julien (portrayed by Allan Relph), who fears being branded as a rebel. However, Julien is also keeping a hidden secret within the farmhouse, which becomes crucial in their negotiations with the commanding SS general Horseler (played by Bob Cryer, who embodies the charm and sophistication of Christoph Waltz’s characters).

This text is suggesting that the prize being offered is not worth much and the attempt to make the story more exciting with a “spoils of war” concept is weak. The plot lacks direction and the characters are not well-developed. The group includes diverse members, including two female French resistance fighters, but one of them is stereotyped with a beret like a character from ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Wheatley thoroughly chews on this low-quality material, portraying a combative cockney officer who combines elements of Tom Hardy and David Bellamy in a one-dimensional performance that is effective but lacks true charisma. Although Thomas may not be the most reliable person to plan a navigation activity, his reckless attitude adds an energetic flair that is evident in the swift camera movements. However, the recurring absence of a compelling narrative in these World War II films suggests that British filmmakers should consider exploring other conflicts.


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