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DVD Review - Code Name: Geronimo


John Stockwell's war thriller, Code Name: Geronimo receives its home video release this month - whilst it may not have the huge backing of the similarly focused, Zero Dark Thirty, Geronimo has just as much clout.

Code Name: Geronimo focuses on the US Navy SEAL team responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden. Capturing the tension of the CIA offices to the heat of battle in the Middle East, Stockwell's film is a stirring representation of one of the most thrilling and daring manhunts in military history.

Code Name: Geronimo retains a sense of urgency and tension throughout, with the sequences in the CIA offices remaining as fast-paced and gripping as those capturing the raid on Bin Laden's compound. Lively performances from William Fichtner, Eddie Kay Thomas and Kathleen Robertson keep these sequences fresh, devoting a sense of realism and gravitas to them. Echoes of The West Wing and the Bourne series can be traced through these scenes - there is plenty of fast-paced walking and talking down corridors.

The military focused element of Code Name: Geronimo further allows Stockwell to shine. One of the main concerns about a film capturing real events, is that it seeks to simply cash in on the buzz of those events - fortunately, this is not the case with Code Name: Geronimo. Whilst the film provides high octane entertainment and tension, it also retains an emotional sensibility, doing so by managing to avoid traditional patriotic military clichés. Kendall Lampkin's screenplay takes time to showcase the struggles of military life on soldiers and their families - never simply presenting us with a gung-ho, all guns blazing look at the armed forces.

Stockwell's film boasts a sense of brooding unease throughout - we are never fully sure who can be trusted and what can be anticipated. This is at its height in one sequence when informants for the allies are followed and eventually searched by the Pakistani police force. However, the standout sequence of Code Name Geronimo is left until the film's conclusion, this is the raid itself. When we see Seal Team Six infiltrate the compound, Stockwell directs with a frantic energy - putting us in the position of the soldiers as they explore darkened rooms in the congested compound. 

Much of the authentic feel of Code Name: Geronimo should be attributed to the performances of the actors in Seal Team Six. Cam Gigandet in particular shows highly capable skills as a leading man - injecting a sense of humanity and heart into a role which could have become simply a bland military hero. Other turns from Freddy Rodriguez and Xzibit also prove well-cast and likeable.

Code Name: Geronimo is a stirring, high-octane watch that remains its sense of credibility throughout .

RATING: 4/5

You can buy Code Name: Geronimo on Amazon UK.
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