A box office smash in its native Norway, Man Of War is the story of WW2 resistance soldier Max Manus and his ‘Oslo gang’.
Their mission? To carry out sabotage attacks in their occupied homeland that could swing the war in the Allies’ favour.
Bandidas directors Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg employ impressive production values and a blockbuster sensibility here, nailing the suspense as the gang sink ships in heavily guarded harbours and blow up military archives in broad daylight.
Relentlessly hunted by the omnipresent Gestapo, their frequent narrow escapes make for a claustrophobic, sweaty-palmed thriller. Top notch turns from Askel Hennie as Max (likeable lad, tortured soul) and Inglourious Basterds’ Ken Duken as Nazi nemesis Siegfried Fehmer (charming yet calmly psychotic) give the movie a well-shaded hero and villain, but any rounding out of Max’s brothers-in-arms is overshadowed by the film’s commercial ambitions.
Still, it’s an absorbing and accomplished war flick.