The Kill Team is an American war film written and directed by Dan Krauss; a fictionalised adaptation of the events explored by an earlier documentary of the same name. It stars Nat Wolff, Adam Long, Jonathan Whitesell, Brian Marc, Osy Ikhile, Anna Francolini, Rob Morrow and Alexander Skarsgård.

There are war movies like Rambo that glorify war and killing for entertainment; and then there are the grimy ones like Full Metal Jacket that seeks to portray the reality on the ground. The Kill Team falls in the latter category. It deals with the issue of bullying and peer pressure in the army. Most Singaporean men would have gone through National Service and would relate well to these topics which are prevalent in any hierarchal organisation where those ranked above you rules over you.

Trailer:

Synopsis:

US Private Andrew Briggman becomes conflicted with his morals when his platoon, under his superior, Sergeant Deeks, participate in murdering civilians in Afghanistan, and when he contemplates reporting to the authorities, he realises how much danger he is in as the platoon become increasingly violent and Deeks begins to suspect his loyalties.

The movie is a dramatisation of real-life events. Via Wikipedia:  Private Adam Winfield (the real-life inspiration for Private Andrew Briggman in the movie) was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan when he attempted with the help of his father to alert the military to the murders his platoon was committing. Winfield’s pleas went unheeded. Pressured by threats to his life from his superior and other members of his unit, Winfield was drawn into a moral abyss and forced to make a split-second decision that resulted in him being charged for manslaughter together with his platoon mates.

In Singapore, real-life examples of such saga would include the SCDF ragging incident in 2018 that resulted in the death of a 22 year-old national serviceman. A whole bunch of regulars where charged for the unnecessary death. Why in the hell would these people participate in such a stupid ragging exercise in the first place? It boils down to bullying and peer pressure.

The real-life Kill Team
The real-life Kill Team

You have to be put into the same moral abyss as Private Briggmans in the movie to fully understand why ordinary men can be driven to do very wicked things. This is what the narrative for The Kill Team attempts to recreate for the audience and did a good job.

The Kill Team is now showing in Singapore cinemas. I would highly recommend it for guys in the Singapore Armed Forces because I am sure you will be able to relate to the story like I did. For others, it is a grimy movie to induct you into the real-world of war and killing, beyond the media glorification.