Dogs of War [1981]

Back before Christopher Walken became a caricature of himself, when he was still considered a rising actor based on his OscarĀ® for The Deer Hunter, he made this graphic, exciting action film, about a group of professional mercenaries. Walken leads a band of soldiers of fortune, who are hired to overthrow a dictator in West Africa (think Idi Amin). But when their mission is compromised by political and monetary forces, Walken returns to the United States, disillusioned, battered, and not sure the high life of lawyers, guns, and money is really for him. Still, vengeance is sweet, as his partner, Tom Berenger, keeps whispering into his ear. A better film than it's generally given credit for, The Dogs of War features the kind of cool, detached performance Walken used to be capable of, before he began believing both the hype and ridicule about his over-the-top style. --Marshall Fine

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