Operation Red Sea (2018) Review



Operation Red Sea is one of the most explosive action movies of the year with some spectacular set-pieces. What it lacks in memorable characters and depth it makes up for in destruction… which is fine by me.

Plot: A commando force from the Chinese navy intercepts terrorists and rescues Chinese citizens in Yemen.

Review: I got to finally check out Operation Red Sea on the big screen this week and it did not disappoint; yes, it had its flaws but if you’re looking for a movie packed with R-rated action and spectacular set-pieces then you’ll have a blast.

Hollywood will be hard pushed to top Operation Red Sea this year in terms of action scenes as they are genuinely stunning and have a real sense of scale. We’ve got tank battles, shoot-outs, explosions galore and for the most part they are done practically. There is the odd bit of CG but nothing too bad and at various points I believe I said “Holy Shit!” out loud at the sheer ambition on screen.

There is about 45 seconds where there is no action in this movie; the rest is a constant assault on the senses as our team of heroes take on terrorists in a series of thrilling action sequences.

At 2 hours 20 minutes it is far too long and could have had several minutes chopped off the runtime but it also lacked a main protagonist which was odd. It centers on this elite group of Chinese Navy Soldiers battling terrorists but we never really get to care about them so when anyone dies your reaction will likely be “wait, who was that guy?” so it maybe could have given us a few extra minutes to get to know our team better. That may seem like a big deal but when the action is as visceral and brutal as this then you just strap in and enjoy the ride.

Overall, Operation Red Sea is a bold and ambitious action epic with some of the best actions scenes you’ll see this year; it’s a shame there is zero character development and it’s too long but it is pleasingly violent and well paced.