One of the perks of Netflix Watch Instant is I can take a chance on something, without the risk of wasting a few days waiting for a DVD to arrive. I can browse, try something for a few minutes, and if I don’t enjoy the flick, I just hit stop and find something else (which usually ends up being an episode of MST3K).
But, there are times I take a chance on a film (or TV show) on Netflix Watch Instant and I am glad I did. Case in point, Play Dirty (1969).
I watch Netflix Watch Instant on my TV (an SD tube model, no less) via a Roku box, and the Netflix Channel often suggests films for me, or just shows random categories. Now, these categories can range from the obvious, “Sci-Fi/Fantasy” to the strangely precise, “Gritty War Movies from the 1960s.”
Play Dirty appeared on my screen in the latter category, or something close to it. I knew nothing about the film, other than it was a Gritty War Movie from the 1960s and starred future-Alfred Michael Caine. Remembering the classic Duke Phillips line from The Critic, “You can’t make a movie without Michael Caine,”* I decided to take a chance.
And was I glad I did.
Play Dirty is about a British army captain (Caine) teamed up with a group of released criminals on a mission to go and blow up a Nazi fuel dump in the African desert, 400 miles behind enemy lines. It is nothing at all like 1967’s The Dirty Dozen. Ahem.
Joking aside, I really enjoyed the film. It had some great visuals and cinematography showcasing the bleakness of the shooting locations in Spain (fans of spaghetti westerns, take note). There a few really excellent “action” scenes with little to-no dialogue, with minimal editing (the opposite of the fast-paced “action” editing in movies today).
Add in clean-cut Caine butting heads with the shady group of ex-cons he’s forced to work with, and you have quite the adventure, with plenty of nasty twists and turns along the way. It also has a rather overt anti-war message [spoiler warning], which given it being a product of the late 1960s, is not surprising.
Take the time to explore those categories on Netflix Watch Instant, or just take the time to try something you wouldn’t normally watch. You may just find something you enjoy. And don’t worry, The Expendables will be around for AT LEAST another 400 days.
*= in reference to the Dirty Dozen remake he is producing, no less. A film starring Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and more. No lie. This joke was written in the mid-1990s.