Here is a film which you should definitely watch despite its crap title and even crapper poster. "Why?" you ask. And so you might. And the answer dear readers is simple: because British people can be funny unintentionally, too! 31 North 62 East (the most clumsily titled film of the year, hands down) stars John Rhys-Davies (you'll know him best as Gimli in Lord of the Rings trilogy), Marina Sirtis (known best from her appearances as Counselor Deanna Troi from Star Trek), Heather Peace (who's been in every British "drama" or soap there is to hand), and Craig Fairbrass (who other than being Dan in Eastenders has apparently been in Rise of the Footsolider and played various voices in the Call of Duty franchise.) On paper, then, this supposed "political thriller" telling the tale of conspiracy and deception within an SAS unit located in Afghanistan should be better than an episode of Emmerdale. It isn't. Rhys-Davies plays the prime minister (who can only be modelled on John Prescott...) who betrays the location of the SAS unit in order to secure £80 million arms deal. Something which we are told from the very beginning. So there is absolutely no mystery involved there, then. In fact the only mystery pertaining to the film, is why on earth any of these people signed on to the project in the first place. Did they read the script and assume it'd only be released as a straight to Channel 5 piece (even ITV wouldn't have touched this...)? All the more mysterious is the actors' apparent ability to misplace any ounce of talent they once possessed. I take it back: it does take some talent to reel off "31 North 62 East" as effortlessly as every member of the cast manages to every time it's mentioned within the film.
The makers of the film have missed a real trick in not deciding to market the film as a spoof. Not even 20 minutes in and you'll have witnessed these groundbreaking film moments:
1. A man wielding the most unrealistic machete you'll see this side of Aladdin in panto season (for some reason Aladdin in my imagination wields a machete?), rubbing Heather Peace's tits with said weapon and growling in a particularly sexy voice: "maybe if I cut one of your silky-smooth breasts that might loosen your tongue". Which seems completely devoid of rational thought. I was simply left wondering "how does he know her breasts are silky-smooth?".
2. The same unconvincing Afghan captor torturing poor Heather Peace by claiming to use "acupuncture" as a method of loosening her tongue (yes he says this...AGAIN). A particularly unorthodox method in that he uses needles with flags of differing countries at their head, and inserts them under her finger nails. Effective.
3. Heather Peace eventually does loosen her tongue and drops the "F" bomb. Even the word "fuck" manages to be unconvincing in this context.
And if you should stick with the film a little longer, you'll experience the following treats:
1. The soundtrack which was evidently made for a low-budget porno and re-used to heighten the tension.
2. Heather Peace donning an ill-fitting balaclava to cleverly disguise herself while trying to capture Marina Sirtis. Soz Heather but noone is unrecognisable when you can still see their body, eyes and mouth. Except not one person manages to rumble her.
3. The line of dialogue: "round up the usual Islamic suspects". With not one shred of irony.
The list could (and does) go on. It is simpler, therefore, to leave you with the trailer for this stunning piece of film-making - though I should warn you - it wholly surpasses the film itself.