Hurricane (2018)

Tagline: "In foreign skies they fought for their country." And ours. Don't forget ours. Ours is more important cos we live here. Bloody foreigners, coming over here and killing sky Nazis.

Premise: New to Blu-Ray and DVD (22nd October), Hurricane tells the true story of 303 Squadron, a Second World War team comprised of pilots who escaped German occupation of their homeland, fled to these shores and helped fight in the Battle of Britain. Unsurprisingly given the hostile nature of this petty little island, Eastern Europeans were greeted with the same distrust as they are now, despite their willingness to fight against the Nazis.

Delivery: Hurricane is directed by David Blair, who was in the chair for Best Laid Plans, which is a decent little film worth looking out for. This film stars Iwan Rheon, most well known for playing the less than lovely Ramsey Bolton in Game of Thrones. Rheon speaks in Polish and French languages with conviction in Hurricane, although I am reliably assured by my Polish friends: conviction and convincing are different. To my ear it sounded like Polish, he is very good in the role. To be fair, the part is notable mainly for him not playing an utter bastard you want to feed to your pets. The bar was low. 

The rest of the cast are natural Polish or Czech speakers, and more well known in their home countries. They are all game and the camaraderie between them is believable and entertaining. Hurricane is quite funny, particularly at the beginning as the Polish and English cultures clash. Although, as I mentioned in the premise, the English aren't exactly welcoming to our European arrivals. It's got to the point now where even British WW2 films are comfortable portraying the English as small minded wankers: this tells you a lot about our sense of identity as a nation. Either we're great, or we're all pricks.

There is no middle ground. Pick a team, that second referendum is just around the corner...

With just a tenth of the budget (which is still over ten million quid) of the almighty Dunkirk, Hurricane is still an entertaining, engaging war film with plenty of action and dogfighting both airborne and on terra firma. What the film makers have done with the budget was actually an achievement, I thought. Ok the CGI isn't always perfect but the story is fascinating and the acting above par. For the money they had I could live with the graphics, particularly as I was enjoying the characters' stories and there is a lot of action, which is basically the reason one might watch a WW2 action film.

The way the film captures the endless procession of missions, with little or no rest between flights taking its toll on the pilots was quite clever I thought. There was no huge climatic push, as the sorties blurred into one, never ending skirmish around the south coast and channel. The final battle, which in so many Hollywood film would be a huge crescendo was a mournful, almost shell shocked affair, which for me was both different and quite effective. 

Bedsit it? It all depends on what you like I suppose. I went in having prepared myself for some dodgy CGI and was pleasantly surprised it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. Also, there was an idiot on IMDb who had scored Hurricane 1/10 because he had some knowledge of planes and they don't wear their masks properly in the film. Here's a thought, have some knowledge of films you fuckwit, it would be impossible to follow who was who* if they all stuck to regulation flying rules. If you're a military pedant, then either reign in your expectations, don't watch the film or at the very least shut the fuck up on the internet about losing your erection when hey had their masks off. “It ruined my airboner!” 7/10
*Unlike in Dunkirk, where there was only one plane really and we all knew the pilot was dishy Tom Hardy. That's not the sea he's flying over, it's a visual metaphor for all the knickers in the cinema.


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