When Hell Broke Loose

Routine, low-budget WWII drama start off the day Pearl Harbor is bombed and we see con man Steve Boland (Charles Bronson) pretty much turn the other way not caring about his country. He eventually gets busted for a crime and is forced to join the service where he finds himself getting into more trouble for not caring about what he’s doing. All of that changes when he falls for a woman (Violet Rensing) whose brother is working for the Germans in an attempt to kill General Eisenhower. WHEN HELL BREAKS LOOSE is about as standard a “B” movie can be when it comes to WWII. Instead of any real action scenes we’re basically given a few small items where soldiers shoot guns while the “big” stuff is replaced by a bunch of stock footage from earlier movies and/or newsreels. This here obviously gives the film an extremely fake look and it’s nearly impossible to ever feel like you’re really in the middle of a war. Another problem is that the story itself is just so silly and predictable where you never can connect with any of the characters. The lead guy is made to be such a jerk that you really can’t help but laugh in disbelief and especially during the opening where he pretty much doesn’t blink an eye to Pearl Harbor getting attacked. Another problem is that there’s really no sort of character development so when Bronson’s character goes from a jerk to a hero overnight, it’s simply not believable. Don’t even get me started on the so-called love story. With all of that said, the film remains slightly entertaining if you’re a fan of “B” movies and especially if you’re a fan of Bronson. The star actually gives a pretty good performance considering what he had to work with. I didn’t totally buy him as the con man but when it came time for him to fight and push people around, it’s easy to see why studio people put him in movies. Bronson’s appeal is going to be the main reason to check this film out. Getting to see him in such an early role will keep people entertained.