(director/writer: Steven Luke; cinematographer: Joseph Loeffler; editors: Joseph Loeffler/Peter Devaney Flanagan; cast: Dolph Lundgren (Major Case Anderson), Michael Jai White (Sergeant AJ ‘Red” McCarron), Tyrese Gibson (Crecy), Hiram A. Murray (Lt. Robert A. Hayes), Kellan Lutz (Lt. Frank Ross), Vicellous Shannon (Sgt. Frank Thomas); Runtime: 85; MPAA RATING NR; producers: Dean Bloxom/Andre Relis/Steven Luke; Screen Gems Media; 2022)

“A script filled with cliches.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This is a direct-to-video action pic by filmmaker  Steven Luke (“Operation Seawolf”/”The Great War”). He writes and directs this shoestring budget WW2 film with an all-male cast that is mostly Black. Luke turns in a script filled with cliches and no surprises. But the action sequences are at least lively, and it has a sobering message about the racial prejudice the Black soldiers experienced fighting in the war.

The talented cast, which includes Hiram A. Murray as the seemingly indestructible  Lt. Hayes and the dependable veteran actor Dolph Lundgren as the experienced and kindly white Major Anderson (leading an all-Black mine disposal squad), must deal with the slight script, the poor visuals and the cheesy special effects which looked cheap.

The story follows the Black specialized squad who are ambushed by the Nazis, and their field officer leader, Lt. Hayes, goes missing. In the wild, behind enemy lines, the squad locate Lt. Ross (Kellan Lutz), an American pilot whose plane was shot down. He joins them as they go on an unofficial rescue mission behind the German lines to find Lt. Hayes, and when he’s found must fight their way back to safety with the help of their friends at the 761st tank battalion, who are known as “The Black Panthers.”

REVIEWED ON 5/22/2023  GRADE: B-