Age of Heroes (2011) Sean Bean Starring in A Movie on the British Commando Unit in WWII

It would be very hard for me not to watch a movie starring Sean Bean and that is why I was looking forward to Age of Heroes a movie based on the true story of Ian Fleming’s Commando Unit. Lucky yesterday wasn’t one of my impatient days or I wouldn’t have finished it. It would have been too bad as the movie improves considerably after the first 15 extremely dodgy minutes are over. But, judging from the ratings on IMDb, people didn’t forgive the movie its beginning…

Age of Heroes follows a British special forces unit on a crucial mission called “Operation Grendel”. The men, being part of Ian Fleming‘s  so-called Commando unit, one of the first special forces units, have undergone a very hard training. They are led by a hard but funny training officer (William Houston) and their highly appreciated leader Major Jones (Sean Bean). Jones is one of the best leaders I’ve seen in a war movie. He is tough but just, clever, courageous and not without kindness. Part of the unit is the Norwegian born American Steinar (Axel Hennie, Max Manus). This makes a lot of sense as the mission takes place behind enemy lines in occupied Norway. The Commando unit will have to drop in Norway and get some German radars in order to analyze them. The whole operation has been planned and is closely supervised by Ian Fleming (James D’Arcy) in London. A lot of what he experienced during the war when he was an assistant of the Director of Naval Intelligence was later used in his James Bond novels.

Needless to say that this was a dangerous suicide mission and, typical for this type of endeavor, many things went wrong and people died. As we get to know the characters well before they go on their mission, we care for them. One of them is introduced early, in the unfortunately weird beginning that takes place in France, and we get to know and like the others in the British training camp.

All in all it was an entertaining movie if somewhat flawed. It is flawed because it reminded me of some recent Resistance movies and lack of originality is a flaw. But it was also flawed because the film makers seem not to have been decided whether they wanted this to be more of an action or more of a war flick. The story is a war story but the movie is told like an action film.

If you like Sean Bean and have never heard of the Commando unit, the precursor of the SAS, you will enjoy watching it and, due to the action twist it is quite gripping.

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12 thoughts on “Age of Heroes (2011) Sean Bean Starring in A Movie on the British Commando Unit in WWII

  1. Guy Savage says:

    have you seen the Sharpe series?

  2. the war movie buff says:

    Darn you, it’s not on Net Flix. Why do you tease Beaners like this?

  3. OMG, how did I miss this. I really don’t care how it starts the trailer looked very good & yes I liked Sean’s acting both in LOTR.

    • Some people stop watching a movie when the beginning isn’t any good, I thought it’s important to say that it gets much better.
      It’s out in the UK since two months, not that long really. I hope you will like it.

  4. I have just downloaded the Blu-ray version, planning to see this in the night once I get back from office.

  5. By the way yesterday I saw “The Red Barron”; it was good but little bit slow.

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