Dispatching SEAL Team 6’s Black Cell into anarchic Syria to secure a cache of sarin gas, Mann (Seal Team Six: Hunt the Falcon, 2013, etc.) shoots up another headline-inspired plot.
Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker’s a good guy, hard used, always ready to stretch orders for a mission accomplished. Crocker is a familiar yet nuanced character, suffering from angst—combat losses, marriage implosion—while dispatching Shabiha terrorists, "paid assassins working for President Assad," in Istanbul before he’s even taken a meeting with a CIA handler and Talab, a Syrian source. There, the team leader learns that Black Cell’s been ordered to retrieve a cache of sarin nerve gas stashed near Idlib, northern Syria. That means infiltrating through Assad’s Russian- and Iranian-supported forces. Then there are the war-torn areas controlled by a major player called the Fox, Mohammad Farhad al-Kazaz, an "active ISIS jihadist, considered highly intelligent, with a fervent following and global ambitions." Black Cell members—SEALs "selected, in part, because their bodies produced an abnormal amount of an amino acid known as neuropeptide Y (NPY), which regulates blood pressure and also works as a natural tranquilizer"—dash through high-tension border checkpoints disguised as medics from Doctors Without Borders, detouring to treat incognito the Fox’s wounded son, fight running battles in country, smash-and-grab the sarin, only to have it stolen later from a Turkish military base. Technophile readers get much acronym look-up material—MEATS insertion, AS532 Cougar, PG-7VR rocket—before Black Cell disrupts a cruise ship hijacking led by a beautiful traitor wielding a Bottega Veneta crocodile shoulder bag, despite interference from dilly-dallying desk jockeys and an arrogant CIA chief who leads by yelling obscenities. But there’s no rest for Crocker and company—their high-value target must be nabbed off the streets of Paris.
Cast Russell Crowe as Crocker for a cinematic thrill ride.