It was an epic Rambo film. He single handedly beat the Russians and helped the heroic Afghan people get their liberation.` He stood there with RPGs, AK47s and anything else he could strap on his oiled half naked body and beat an entire army, helicopters and all.
By now, we have seen pretty much everything there is to see about “that war”. There have been documentaries, heroic ones, bleak ones, “what is the point?” ones, hand held camera affairs. Some of them were actually impressive, breaking new ground thanks both to the new technology and this unusual situation the armies have found themselves in. To their credit, almost all the films make good points about the futility of war, the pride of the Afghan people and the dirty job the soldiers on all sides are called to do at enormous personal cost.
Hyena road is something in between all the previous stuff. It is a proper feature film, no grainy handheld video cameras or amateur footage included. It has proper actors and builds proper characters, mostly likeable ones. None of them get shot in the opening sequences, in fact, there isn’t much killing involved in general.
The film is very Canadian. No American style chest thumping. If it goes near a cliche, it does its best to avoid it. Both in terms of content and in terms of style. For a relatively low budget film it is remarkably accurate, precise and well made. I have seen many films about Afghanistan which obviously makes me an expert. This feels authentic, it flows easily.
The more I write about it, the more there is to praise. Many nice little touches in the characters and their side stories. Canadian dry humour in what they say. If this is Canada at war then all Canadians should be proud of them.
PS the ending is terrible. 5.5/10