Watching The Dirty Dozen immediately highlights how complicated modern movies have become. If the film were to be remade today (heaven forbid), I can only imagine how many subplots would have been crammed into the story to make it ‘more accessible’ or to give individual actors beefed up parts. Instead, we engage with each of the characters as part of the group rather than individual anti-heroes. We can’t really root for any of these men, but we can root for The Dirty Dozen.
Though the film was criticised heavily for its violence upon release, it seems almost tame by today’s standards. Rather than over the top explosions and gore, the deaths in the film are sudden and undramatic, far more fitting for the film’s nihilistic message. There are no heroes here, these men are soldiers with one mission – to kill as many of the enemy as possible, soldiers and civilians alike. The Dirty Dozen remains a gripping experience to this day; it’s a classic for a reason. Highly recommended.