MUBI review - Johnny Mad Dog (2008)

Now screening on the excellent MUBI streaming service, Johnny Mad Dog will be a brutal and difficult watch for many but don't let this put you off. It's a tour de force and riveting film, with fantastic young actors.
Christophe Minie plays the forenamed teen leader of a group of child soldiers fighting for the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebels in the Second Liberian Civil War, in 2003. All they know is violence and how to get what they want through guns and killing. The young actors were all new to the film industry when cast, and some of them are former child soldiers. It makes for a tense and upsetting story and the violence is relentless from the get-go. It's a fast-paced movie and you can't help but get drawn into the war zone and story, especially when Laokole (Daisy Victoria Vandy) fights to save her younger brother and disabled father from the oncoming attack by the young soldiers.
A hugely intelligent film and exceptionally raw, it's a hard 1hr 38 minutes to get through and you'll come away shocked. But do give it a watch for one of the best war movies we have seen for a long, long time and it will become a classic.
RATING: 8/10
Watch it for: Christophe Minie's performance is outstanding
Watch out for: The violence is very disturbing