The Wrong Path
On the 5th June 1944 a top secret mission is put together to combine paratroopers from different military units and have them drop behind enemy lines. Their mission is whilst avoiding capture and death to set up navigational equipment critical for the D-Day landings. But it is a mission which shouldn't work, a mismatched bunch of soldiers who don't get on with two commanding officers and no mission specific training thrown in to enemy territory right at the last.
I had never heard of the "Pathfinders" before stumbling across this recent war movie but it seems the perfect story for a war movie. We have all the right ingredients, the last minute mission which seems to go against the rules, the conflict between this mismatch bunch of troops and of course the ticking clock as they have to complete the mission in time to save thousands of lives of the men involved in the D-Day landings. And all those ingredients could have made a good movie except "Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers" is not that movie as it is a low budget movie which fails in almost every area.
Where do I start well the trouble starts by not really establishing the characters, we get served up a variety of men of different ranks but we never get to know them and some times I don't even think we get to know their names. But this lack of introduction is exasperated by dialogue which feels more like it has been lifted from war movies from the 1950s with lines which don't fit with the people saying them. This is also not helped by the fact the cinematographer had a thing for close ups, in your face close ups be it of a character or a telephone or men 's feet as they leap from a plane. It is visually weak and I only imagine this was done to try and hide budget limitations when it comes to sets, staying in close to try and hide the modern elements of the rooms they filmed in. I could go on as there is plenty more about this movie which is simply wrong including the clarity of the sound but I feel life is too short.
What this all boils down to is that the story behind "Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers" is worthy of a movie but this low budget and frankly often amateurish movie does not do a decent job of telling it.