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DVD Reviews: Discovery Channel - American Commandos

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: June 2004
Distributed by:
Magna Pacific
Running Time: 154 Minutes





This three part doco takes us deep into the heart of what makes three groups of special forces tick. It deals with the Army Special Forces, Airborne and Rescue Medics.

I found this to be riveting viewing and something that held my attention from start to finish. The level of training that we were lucky enough to witness was second to none and some of the footage from helmet cameras was absolutely amazing.

The documentaries go behind the scenes in showing the way that these groups train, their mentality and fascinating glimpses of real life events retold by the men who were directly involved. Throw in some historians and authors of books on the subjects of special forces and you know that you are in for a compelling view.

The commandos segment was interesting to me when all of a sudden we got views from helmet cameras being worn as they looked exactly like some of the first person shooter games out there for PC and console. I would have liked to see a lot more of this viewpoint as it felt as though you were really there taking part in the activity. This camera view was also used during jump training during "Airborne".

The enthusiasm that everyone involved in this project had is infectious and the gung ho attitude of the soldiers admirable, especially in the case of the Night Riders, medics who are flown in to rescue downed pilots. There are some incredible rescues done by the team over the years and the doco tells us the story of Bat 21, a pilot who was shot down over Vietnam and came down in the middle of a Viet Cong encampment. The lengths that the US went to save this man were incredible and the fact that he knew they'd be looking for him probably saved his life.

Extremely engrossing and highly recommended!


Full frame presentation with no errors that make watching unpleasant. This is a very clear, made for television, documentary.


Serviceable stereo mix. Audio is very clear and easy to hear and understand.



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