The story of a drug-dealing military clerk (Joaquin Phoenix) at a poorly disciplined U.S. base in 1989 West Germany, Buffalo Soldiers was long delayed out of fear it would be deemed too unpatriotic during wartime. If only it were unpatriotic – that would have been infinitely
more interesting than the wishy-washy, morally skittish movie we have. For a while, the film’s depiction of America’s finest gone very, very bad has a rebellious, counterculture kick, thanks mostly to Phoenix’s
sneaky portrayal of a cheat in a brownnose’s clothing. By the climax, however, director Gregor Jordan awkwardly tries to backtrack and paste on a moralistic ending. Plausibility goes out the window, along with any
sense of conviction the picture might have had.