Saturday, April 5, 2003

The Beast

I just picked up The Beast (1988) at Wal-Mart for $5.88. This was a really great movie, I'm surprised that I hadn't heard about it until now. A must watch for any moderns fan.

The movie centers on a Soviet tank early in the invasion of Afghanistan. The tank is lost, and trying to find it's way back to the Khandahar road. A small group of Mujahideen are pursuing it in an attempt to avenge the brutal destruction of their village, which the tank had taken part in.
The tank crew are a motley bunch, and the story primarily centers around a somewhat psycho commander and the driver of the tank, demoted several times for "thinking for himself." On the other side, the Mujahideen are two groups, a more traditional group and a more modern, less religious group, and the unfamiliar RPG they are trying to use to take out the tank.
The movie takes a fairly even hand with both sides, concentrating more one good and bad people (and choices) rather than focusing on the larger conflict itself. It was very well-made, great acting and wonderful scenery. Overall, a very high quality movie with a number of small scale conflict ideas that could be presented as table top games.
Here's the description from the back of the box:
"Afghanistan, 1981, and the Soviet Union is locked in a futile and bloody battle with the Mujahedeen guerrillas. Separated from their patrol, the crew of a Russian T-62 tank engages in a deadly game of cat and mouse with local insurgents led by Taj (Steven Bauer). The tyrannical tank commander Daskal (George Dzundza) wreaks havoc on a peaceful Afghani village, pushing the moral boundries of the tank driver Koverchenko (Jason Patric) to the limits. Sensing mutiny, the psychotic Daskal abandons the disenchanted tanker to die in the desert at the hand of rebels, only to find he's sealed his own fate."

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