The Veteran: Robert Miller (Toby Kebbell) is a soldier returning home from Afghanistan after his final tour of duty. Life doesn’t have much in store for him, while he lives on a grim council estate and can’t sleep at night. Job prospects are so bad that he can’t even find work on a building site, and it doesn’t help that he can’t shake his experience abroad.
He’s offered work with a drug dealer, who believes that the whole purpose of the invasion of Afghanistan was to protect the drug trade – claiming the Taliban screwed it all up from 9/11 onwards, rather than dealing with Osama Bin Laden. However, he goes with friend and fellow returning soldier Danny Turner (Tom Brooke) and his brother Chris (Tony Curran), meeting up in a bar to discuss a job of undercover surveillance on suspected terrorists, in this case Fawwaz Abdullah (Selva Rasalingam), causing him to stumble upon a bomb-making factory in a house.
Once complete, he has the chance to take on higher-paid work with Gerry (Brian Cox), a heavyweight in his field and not a man to disappoint.
The Veteran has good acting all round, it’s engaging for about the first 70 minutes and then it does slow down somewhat, with some unconvincing twists and turns, but the last ten minutes makes for amazing viewing and it’s nice to see a film that actually manages to come up with an ending. So few can, these days.
Unfortunately, I was only able to get a screener DVD for this film so cannot comment on what the quality of the final release will be like, especially as the sound was in Dolby Pro Logic only and the picture on this DVD was a little soft, but the scores are indicative of what I received.
The brief extras are as follows:
- Interviews (7:20): Very brief snippets with the director and with cast members Toby Kebbell, Brian Cox, Adi Bielski and Ashley Thomas, so with seven minutes between them there’s not a lot of insight to be had, here.
- Behind the scenes (2:58): Generally this is B-roll footage as we see scenes filmed on-set.
- Deleted Scenes (10:51): Five scenes here, but nothing in particular that needs to go back into the finished film and some of the extended ones don’t seem a great deal different.
- Trailer (1:26): This trailer doesn’t give a great deal away, thankfully, unlike a lot of trailers. Yes, there’s some brief snatches of the last section of the film but you wouldn’t be able to put these into context without having seen it in full, first.
The menu mixes a clips from the film with shows of the housing estate, and a short piece of the background music from the film playing over and over. There are English subtitles but the chaptering is lacking with just 12 over the 95-minute running time.
Also, one thing that shouldn’t be here is trailers for other films prior to the main menu appearing. Why aren’t these in the extras menu? We aren’t in the days of rental video, Revolver. I know other distributors have also done this, but I do wish they’d all stop.
Running time: 95 minutes
Cat no: REVD2774
Released: August 2011
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
Disc Format: DVD9
Director: Matthew Hope
Producer: Kim Leggatt and Debbie Shuter
Screenplay: Robert Henry Craft and Matthew Hope
Miller: Toby Kebbell
Gerry: Brian Cox
Chris Turner: Tony Curran
Alayna Wallace: Adi Bielski
Danny Turner: Tom Brooke
Tyrone Jones: Ashley Bashy Thomas
Hakeem: Mem Ferda
Fahad Sahal: Ivanno Jeremiah
Fawwaz: Selva Rasalingam
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.