The Expendables weren’t the first gaggle of aging mercenaries to hit the big screen, The Wild Geese shot up the screens way back in 1978. Featuring the not inconsiderable acting talents of Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Kruger and Stewart Granger, the film sees the group hired to cause trouble in central Africa.
The Wild Geese kicks-off with James Bond-esqe titles (courtesy of Maurice Binder) and the musical stylings of Joan Armatrading’s Flight of the Wild Geese. We then see the Geese flocking together before they hit Africa for a bit of old fashioned boys own action. It’s totally preposterous, but the cast give it their all, adding depth to what should be a superficial tale.
Director Andrew V. McLaglen stages the action well and it’s surprisingly violent at times. Ironically, the stand-out actor is Roger Moore, who packs quite a punch as Shawn Flynn. He plays the part deadly straight, and one has to wonder what direction the James Bond series would have went if he had delivered this sort of performance.
A top tier cast, and an old fashioned story means that The Wild Geese is a highly entertaining action romp and it’s definitely worth a watch, especially on Blu-ray.
A highly informative commentary featuring Roger Moore, producer Euan Lloyd and second unit director (and Bond director) John Glen, un-PC footage from the film’s premiere, trailer and a bonus movie! The film, Code Name: Wild Geese has nothing to do with the main feature, but it’s an interesting (and ridiculous) piece with a cast made-up of Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine and Klaus Kinski.
A great package.