Bat 21 Reviews
I was in for a major suprise. An unheard of Movie Special!
This film is so AMAZING. I have underestimated myself, and have learned to give some unheard of movies a try. This film is sheer Moviegoing-Bliss. Pure Action-War Entertainment.
DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS MOVIE, THIS IS NOT EVEN CRAP ENOUGH TO BE FUNNY.
(1988) Bat 21
Story based from an actual person by the name of William C. Anderson from his own book of the very same name, who not only provided the screenplay but was also credited as a consultant. Takes place during the Vietnam War, with 'weapons countermeasures expert' Lieutenant Colonel Iceal "Ham" Hambleton(Gene Hackman) becoming stranded in the jungle after the plane he was in was shot down who appears to be the only survivor equipped with him is a walkie-talkie. And it is up to Captain Bartholomew Clark (Danny Glover) flying a "Cessma 337 Skylander" to keep him from either getting captured for a possible information leak or killed. And to keep each of their actual identities a secret, they each have to communicate with each other by using codenames- "Bat 21" as the movie is called is Hambleton's code name with Clark's code name is called "Bird dog". The scenes between Hackman and Glover are genuinely worth watching since both are veteran actors, but the rhythm in terms of the story structure itself by producers and anybody else who also wanted their two-cents in is convoluted since viewers never find out how the Vietnamese army ever find out that "Bat 21" is really a 'weapons countermeasures expert'! And the other thing that was very troubling was near the end when the movie was trying to convince viewers that the village was isolated, and it wasn't. That entire scene was dumb and was obviously there because producers wanted it to be there to liven the experience since they didn't think that to have two great actors correspond to one another was entertaining enough.
2 out of 4 stars
The real Iceal Hambleton spent 12 days evading the NVA and lost 45 pounds surviving on only four ears of corn before being rescued by Navy Seal Tom Norris. Both were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Although Bat 21 is a bit touchy feely or anti war in some scenes, it is a great story about personal triumph and courage in the face of insurmountable odds.
The chemistry that develops between Glover and Hackman draws you into the intense circumstances and despair of war through the eyes of a Lt Colonel who never was involved in war up close and personal.
This movie deserves to be in your DVD collection. This is the ticket for those rainy weekends when a story about courage, bravery, and is just what the doctor ordered. Bat 21 provides the inspiration in spades.