Rescue Dawn Reviews
This film is pretty dim as it shows emaciated, traumatized war prisoners doing their best to stay alive. Jeremy Davies's character portrayal is haunting as one of the prisoners who's been there for a couple of years surviving on next to nothing, and Steve Zaughn's character is the opposite of what you normally see him portray. Definately a film meant to tell an important, real horror story, and a representative of the heroes from the Vietnam war.
There is an odd disconnect between the captives and the guards - which I believe to be a tool, along with the language barrier, to make you feel as cast adrift as Bale's charactor.
Odd and quirky performances abound, though I found Bale not nearly as convincing as in The Mechanic - he's just too hell bound optomistic and grounded, cheerfully imbibing magots to get protein.
There are some gems here, including the escape plan itself, and how Bale uses nails and other tidbits to fashion tools - but what should have passed as the heroic humanity wins over all, ends up somehow flat. The CIA getting a kind of deus ex machina in the pentultimate scenes is bizarre and unnecessary, except as a commentary about covert ops in general. The "escape" from their grasps is laughingly juvinile, and the ending celebration back aboard the air craft carrier is just plaid odd - leaving me feeling hollow instead of uplifted - but perhaps that was Werner's point...
I can not recommaned this more highly and wish i saw this gem alot sooner.
This movie is an action packed, emotional struggle, but more important is the truth behind it showing not only the individual struggle of this paticular man - but that of many veterns not only in the vietnam war, but even today.
The directors do a great job, Christian Bale delivers a perfect performance, and what I really loved about this film is even with all the controversy surrounding what happend in vietnam - the directors didnt hold nothing back. We like to investigate what american soldiers wrongly done to vietnam citizens, but its rarley shown what they done to us, and this movie has balls to disect and show that on the big screen.
This movie should be an instant classic with a great soundtrack and a perfect story for the ages.
Anyways, Bale plays a cocky young pilot, who on his first mission, is shot down and captured by the Viet cong. though he doesn't realise the full extent of his predicament until he is cast into an obscure prison camp with other pilots and political prisoners and realises that even if he manages to escape, how will he survive against the impassable Asian jungles? Which pretty much nearly drives him insane.
I guess it really hinged on Bale and Zahn's performance, as the mentally unstable prisoners... though the scenery and landscape does look healthy and the green is eye catching, but don't be fooled, the place is a death trap unless you know how to survive.
The only thing which annoyed me is the constant whispering... and the director decided to make it more story telling and doesn't reall instill any particular emotion in the film except for a couple pivotal moments... but this is a genre which could have taken advantage of thrills and more drama, but to me, it was just and open and shut story.
I guess what the director was trying to do was hinge on the performance of his stars, hence why the mental and emotional element was so strong in the movie, but a war movie is not essentially meant to be a study of the human mind... well they aren't really recognised for that. I mean, take First Blood for instance, the movie became famous for its over the top action and violence, but people tend to forget, unless you read the book, its a story of emotional and mental drama of a vietnam vet who was pushed too far to the limit to breaking point to which he responds with the only thing he has - his deadly skills. Its not that Im saying this should have been an all out action extravaganza, but it should have been more like Tom Hanks' "Cast Away" which was superb and engaged the viewer on all levels, and it was a "survivor" movie, and Rescue Dawn should have followed its' leading, but doesn't quite get it.
Anyways, its a good movie for Bale fans to enjoy his performance, but its not really a great war movie or survivor movie,