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Review: Valley of the Wolves Iraq (2006)

Directed by: , Sadullah Sentürk | 120 minutes | , adventure | Actors: Necati Sasmaz, Billy Zane, , Gürkan Uygun, , , Erhan Ufak, , , , Tito Ortiz, , , , , , ,

On July 4, 2003, the US military arrests a group of Turkish soldiers at Turkish headquarters in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. The Americans hold the Turkish soldiers at gunpoint and force them to leave the base with bags over their heads. The Turks are interrogated and detained for 60 hours. They will only be released when the Turkish prime minister lodges a protest with the United States. This arrest is known as the ‘Zakafaire’ and caused a serious breach of trust between the Turkey and the US. In Turkey, the newspapers were full of this incident. One of the arrested soldiers committed suicide out of shame.

The film ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’ starts with this event and further refers to other truth-based incidents – hence the year has been changed in 2004 – such as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in which American soldiers have the human rights of the prisoners. violated. The film is the first of a series of cinema films from the Turkish television series of the same name, around a team of Turkish secret agents Polat Alemdar (Necati Şaşmaz), Memati (Gürkan Uygun) and Abdülhey (Kenan Çoban). Hopefully the other parts are not as politically colored as this one, because the filmmakers make it very colorful in ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’. It seems that they want to give the Americans a tough job with this print. They are the worst portrayed as villains next to other nationalities such as the Kurds and Jews. Turkish secret agent Polat Alemdar (Necati Şaşmaz) is traveling with his colleagues to Iraq after receiving a farewell letter from Lieutenant Suleyman Aslat. Polat is determined to avenge the death of his friend Aslat. He goes Sam William Marshall (Billy Zane), the principal behind the arrest of the Turkish soldiers. Violence already erupts when the Turkish trio come across a Kurdish group guarding the border crossing. Then Polat and his companions go to a hotel where they wish to speak to Marshall. This works, but the American uses a tactic that Polat has not taken into account … On the local market, the secret agent comes into contact with the handsome Leyla (Bergüzar Korel) who also prefers to see Marshall dead rather than alive.

It is remarkable to see the famous face of actor Billy Zane in a production like this one. Perhaps the makers gave him and Gary Busy a considerable amount so that they had no problem playing in such an anti-American film. It has to be said, Zane is as formidable as the villainous Sam William Marshall. He knows exactly how to give the right panache to this superficial character. His trademark, the sneaky smile and dark look as he also used them in ‘Titanic’ are back again. Necati Şaşmaz pales next to Zane, his game is dull and stiff. Counterplayer Bergüzar Korel also surpasses Şaşmaz with her strong facial expressions. She knows how to convey Leyla’s grief and feelings of revenge spicy and at the same time in a credible way. As said before, the filmmakers put the Americans as ultimate bad guys. The worst examples include the scene in which a boy with a branch in a rifle barrel of a military port, where he is shot, and the moment when a soldier goes completely crazy and shoots at a container containing captured Arabs. What is striking is that the other incidents run like vague sidings next to the main story. For example, you have a doctor who carries out illegal organ trafficking and a sheik who prevents murder. It is as if as many wrongs as possible in the film had to be touched on, because they form the loose ends of ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’. when he is shot and the moment when a soldier goes completely crazy and shoots at a container containing captured Arabs. What is striking is that the other incidents run like vague sidings next to the main story. For example, you have a doctor who carries out illegal organ trafficking and a sheik who prevents murder. It is as if as many wrongs as possible in the film had to be touched on, because they form the loose ends of ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’. when he is shot and the moment when a soldier goes completely crazy and shoots at a container containing captured Arabs. What is striking is that the other incidents run like vague sidings next to the main story. For example, you have a doctor who carries out illegal organ trafficking and a sheik who prevents murder. It is as if as many wrongs as possible in the film had to be touched on, because they form the loose ends of ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’.

For fans of the hard action genre, ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’ is a must. The scenes are violent enough. But in terms of story there could have been much more. Magnifying the suffering caused by Americans and attributing other incidents to the US military is a very easy approach. In addition, the fact that Saddam Hussein gives Marshall a piano is also very silly. It seems that the makers of ‘Valley of the Wolves Iraq’ have taken the slogan ‘In times of everything is permitted’ for their script, which is too literal. However, the contributions of Billy Zane and Bergüzar Korel ensure that the film is still worth watching.

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