'The Ambush' Is the UAE's Version of 'Black Hawk Down'

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The Ambush Movie
"The Ambush" tells a true story of UAE soldiers in the Yemen War. (Saban Films)

"The Ambush" recreates a real-life 2018 combat incident involving a team of United Arab Emirates soldiers fighting in the war in Yemen. The feature film was directed by world-class action director Pierre Morel ("Taken," "The Gunman") and was made with input and support from the UAE military and the soldiers who survived the attack.

The movie will get a limited release in theaters on Oct. 28, 2022, and will be available to buy or rent on digital on Nov. 1. Saban Pictures has released a trailer.

For those needing some background, the ongoing conflict in Yemen began in 2014 and is between the government and Houthi rebel groups. The Houthis have support from both al-Qaida and ISIS, and UAE troops have been in combat against the Islamist groups.

The as-yet-unresolved conflict has come with a high price in civilian lives, as the Saudi-led coalition has carried out over 150 airstrikes on non-military targets, according to the Yemen Data Project. The air campaign has killed more than 24,000 people, with nearly 9,000 of those civilian deaths.

The UAE is approximately the size of Maine and is home to Dubai, considered one of the world's wealthiest and most glamorous cities. Their military has been fighting against the insurgents with quiet support from the United States military.

"The Ambush" follows UAE soldiers who are trapped after their armored vehicle is disabled. After the first group of Emirati troops sent in for rescue is similarly attacked, their commander plots a dangerous and daring mission to save his men.

We've got an exclusive clip from "The Ambush" that shows the initial attack.

    Morel has the action chops to tell a story like this one, and it definitely has echoes of "Black Hawk Down," the movie that told the story of U.S. troops pinned down by Somali rebels in Mogadishu during a 1993 mission.

    When the film was released in India earlier this year, Morel told news site WION, "I have always wanted to work on a war story. I have previously done thriller stories, but none that were about war and based on a true story. Even though the movie is specifically based on UAE and Yemen, it is a universal story; it is all about brotherhood and sacrifice."

    Morel also got valuable input from the men who fought that day. "When you adapt a story based on true events, you have a duty to respect what happened," he said. "I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to meet the people who were actually a part of the war; it was intriguing to get their perspective firsthand and it helped me understand the characters' thought process and situations that led to the war."

    The film was financed by an entertainment company in the UAE, and producer Derek Dauchy told Firstpost India, "We had a terrific team in from the U.K. that worked sort of hand-in-glove with the Emirati military. They all worked together to really make sure that the vehicles were kind of the star of the show in addition to our cast, but really those vehicles had to be real and believable. We had to be able to show damage to those vehicles in a real and believable way, which is why we had some tremendous special effects team on board from France and George Demetrau, who is a genius as far as effects go. He was able to really create explosives, RPGs, bullet hits and any number of things that really show these vehicles really being attacked in a way that felt very realistic while still trying to minimize the damage done to the actual vehicle."

    What you see on screen is far more accomplished than the usual straight-to-video action fare. It's a different perspective on a modern war movie, made by filmmakers looking to share a story that was a huge moment in one country's history in hopes that the rest of the world would get a chance to learn about the mission. "The Ambush" is certainly worth a look.

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