Dawn Patrol movie review: total wipeout

Dawn Patrol red light

A repulsive and disgustingly manipulative roundrobin of revenge that veers from softcore porn to an emotionally ignorant parody of a family drama.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Dawn Patrol is not the action adventure thrill ride about surfers that it would like you to believe it is. It has nothing to do with either the 1930 or 1938 films of (nearly) the same name about World War I fighter pilots. But it does hope that you will grant its central character some of the automatic sympathy that comes with a soldier’s uniform, because that’s how it introduces us to the “plight” of John (Scott Eastwood: Fury). He is in a desert somewhere — we are clearly meant to infer that it’s Iraq or Afghanistan — wearing Marine fatigues and being held captive by a woman in a black head scarf who wants him dead. How long can John delay his death by telling her the story of him and his brother, Ben (Chris Brochu)? Flashback to a tale that almost instantly reveals itself to be repulsive and disgustingly manipulative, and that’s even long before the situation in the desert turns out to be nothing like what we’re supposed to think it is. Oh, and the story has nothing to do with surfing, either, unless we’re also meant to grant some utterly unwarranted sympathy to a couple of dudes because they surf. John and Ben, it seems, got themselves mixed up in a roundrobin of revenge over who is allowed to have sex with Ben’s sometime girlfriend Donna (Kim Matula) — she doesn’t get a lot of say in the matter, apparently — which veers from softcore porn to an emotionally ignorant parody of a family drama. An obnoxious, ugly movie, sexist and racist and pleased with itself for it, one that makes me despair that this is the best work that Rita Wilson (Jewtopia), as John and Ben’s mother, could get lately.

See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Dawn Patrol for its representation of girls and women.

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