The year is 1967. Australian soldiers are sent to Vietnam to assist the American soldiers. A group of soldiers bond during their time there and spend most of their time at the camp drinking, playing cards and joking around. But when the reality strikes, they're all prepared to do what they have to do to survive, and all they want is to return back home to Australia where many of them have people waiting for them.
I never had a huge interest in wars, so automatically I never cared too much about war movies either. However, when I finally watch a war movie I often find myself hooked. Thinking of movies like "The Deer Hunter", possibly the one I like the most, it's hard to ignore the intensity they can deliver. I had never heard of "The Odd Angry Shot" before Synapse Films decided to release it, and I wouldn't have watched it hadn't I gotten a review copy. My initial expectations were that it would be a cheesy attempt of a war movie, but what I got was possibly one of my favorite experiences to date, not too far after "The Deer Hunter".
The main plot of this Vietnam depiction is the relationships within one Australian camp. A group of men bond in the midst of all the chaos. They laugh, mess around and drink whenever they get a chance to, trying to forget the reality of their position. This is actually the main focus of the movie. There are scenes of war and they are surprisingly well depicted too, but the heart of this story is in that camp - between these men. This is possibly the reason I enjoyed it so much as well. While I enjoy the war scenes for what they are, there's just something really fascinating about the more "trivial" parts of these men's time in Vietnam.
The movie doesn't show Hollywood heroism. It's a real drama about relationships and what keeps men going during a horrific war. The "action" scenes are as well constructed as any other war movie, but that never let's us forget what we truly want to see more of. It's a fun movie a lot of the time, but luckily there are some truly sad moments too (which you would expect). It's rare to see a war movie that stays away from sensationalism and action as much as this one does, and I think this might be why I have missed it before - it hasn't been brought to the light. That and it's an Australian movie without American stars.
"The Odd Angry Shot" stands out to many other war movies that I have seen, and it definitely climbed up on my ladder of favorites. It's free of action movie heroism and sensationalism. The key here is relationships, drama and reality. Tom Jeffrey portrays the characters perfectly, where you can't tell who is the main lead, nor can you say that everyone is likable through-out. It keeps it very real when everyone in the movie is treated the same. A highly recommended Australian movie! The Synapse blu-ray looks absolutely fantastic and it would probably be worth upgrading if you have a previous release.