REVIEW: The Siege of Jadotville (2016)

Poster - Netflix
Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of The Siege of Jadotville – a Netflix film.

The newest Netflix Original Film – The Siege of Jadotville – is dedicated to the veterans of ‘A Company’ – an Irish group of UN troops – and is based on the true story of how, in 1961, an outnumbered Irish company resisted an assault by Katanganese troops. 

The Siege of Jadotville is a rough, brutal, and important Netflix war film that shines a light on a true story that hadn’t been recognized for quite a while. It has a very strong cast, but you may be surprised to find out just who gives the strongest performance in the film.

When I started the film, I expected Mark Strong, Mikael Persbrandt, and Michael McElhatton to deliver strong performances in this film, based solely on previous performances by the aforementioned men. I was surprised to find out that their performances are all second to Jamie Dornan’s.

Before watching this film, the only film I connected Dornan to was Fifty Shades of Grey, which I am not a fan of at all. In fact, seeing him as the leading man was the only thing that had me worried. I didn’t like him in Fifty Shades of Grey, and although I’ve heard great things about his performance in The Fall, I’ve never seen that show.

His performance here, in The Siege of Jadotville, showed me what he can do, and I’m very pleased to state that there’s something here. I don’t know if Christian Grey will remain his most well-known role or not. But here, as Commandant Pat Quinlan, he has proved that he can be much more than that.

His scenes were the best in the film. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that I didn’t particularly enjoy the scenes that were away from where he was. Mark Strong and, in particular, Mikael Persbrandt didn’t work for me in this film, therefore that part of the story lacked something stronger, for me, at the very least.

The action is strong, hard-hitting, and it will keep your interest. But the film’s musical score was a bit too generic. I also didn’t love the ending as I thought it was a bit too much of a ‘Hollywood’ ending. But I did enjoy the film, and it succeeded in honoring the bravery of these Irish troops.

At this point in time, Netflix Original Films have only truly impressed once. 2015’s Beasts of No Nation was a terrific film that didn’t get the love it deserved at numerous award ceremonies. Since then, Netflix Original Films haven’t been as solid.

Sure, there are some solid films to mention like Tallulah or The Fundamentals of Caring, but those films don’t come close to being as great as Beasts of No Nation was. The Siege of Jadotville isn’t the next Beasts of No Nation. It’s not going to blow anyone away.

But The Siege of Jadotville is a solid entry into the war film genre, with a story I haven’t seen done before. If you are a fan of the genre – or Jamie Dornan, for that matter – I’d definitely say that you should check this one out. Even if it won’t be Netflix’s next great exclusive that everyone talks about.

7 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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