PASKAL: The Movie (2018)

Posted in Reviews by - October 14, 2020
PASKAL: The Movie (2018)

Solid if two-dimensional military film espousing the might of the Royal Malaysian Navy – aka PASKAL, an acronym which translates as Naval Special Warfare Forces. This plays like an earnest recruitment film and isn’t too concerned about the consequences of war, although it does reference its potentially damaging impact on the soldiers’ relationships. The breakdown of the film’s central male friendship is treated more as a narrative device to create a tough adversary for the film’s reluctant hero, Arman (Hairul Azreen), to face in the action-fuelled finale. The film references real military engagements involving the Royal Malaysian Navy; a conflict involving Somali pirates on the notoriously troubled Gulf of Aden, and a terrorist incident during a UN peacekeeping mission in Angola. These set-pieces are built around Arman’s story, who is shown to be undertaking one final mission before an early retirement to look after his ill mother. There’s not really any fisticuffs in this, but there is a lot of loud machine-gunning, hand grenades, big explosions and giant helicopters for fans of military porn.

AKA: Paskal.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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