A weaker but adequate made-for-television sequel to a classic war movie
The Dirty Dozen Next Mission, News has got out that a senior German general is planning to kill Hitler; one would expect the Allies to be pleased but it is feared that the war could drag on for years if Hitler were to be replaced by a competent general. It is known that the general will be on a train in France soon so a mission to assassinate him is planned. As in the original film Major John Reisman is called in and ordered to assemble another team of military criminals facing death or long sentences. They spend a little while training before heading to France where things don’t quite go according to plan.
‘The Dirty Dozen’ was a great Boy’s Own style war film full of well-known actors and lots of spectacular action this is not ‘The Dirty Dozen’. In many ways it is trying to replicate the success of the original but sadly fails; not enough time is spent on the training/team bonding so it is hard for the viewer to care about this team. The mission itself more far-fetched; it starts with them flying into a German airfield in a Dakota that is painted in German colour and have a shootout with the Germans. When they realise the train has gone they somehow get back on the Dakota and parachute to a site near the train without any explanation of how they got to the plane or how they could successfully jump without parachute training. The ultimate shootout is exciting enough in a televisual way but nowhere near as good as the finale of the original film. On the plus side Lee Marvin is still pretty good as Reisman even though this was made almost twenty years after the original film. Overall I wouldn’t call this a must see film but if like me you get the original on DVD that includes this as a bonus feature it is worth watching although the fact that it is hidden amongst the extras rather than sold as a two-film box says a fair bit.