Donald's Review of The Thin Red Line

  • 20 months ago via Flixster
    The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line (1998)

    This is a strange war movie. Visually it looks good. It's filmed in the South Pacific so you get the feel of the Pacific War. It's based on a book based on the Battle of Guadalcanal. The story is fiction but based on the real battle. I've only read excerpts of the book. Someday I need to read the book. This is a better movie than the low budget black and white movie from the 1960's. It focuses on a different set of characters than the first movie. They spend a lot time reading the minds of the main characters with flashback scenes and voiceovers letting you know what they are thinking. The action scenes show the terror of fighting an unseen enemy. The Battle of Guadalcanal was the Stalingrad of the Pacific war. Instead of pushing across south Asia to link up with the Germans the Japanese wasted their army trying to keep the Americans from taking a remote airfield on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The story is about the army troops brought in to relieve the Marines that had been fighting there for several months. The commanding officer wants to take a hill with a frontal assault while the Capitan of the troops wants to outflank the Japanese bunkers. This was based on the real conflict between the Navy and the Army in the Pacific War. The Navy and the Marines kept trying to assault heavily fortified Japanese held islands while the Army bypassed the Japanese strong points and cut them off from their supply lines. The fighting on Guadalcanal was a lot like the fighting in the Vietnam War. The Japanese thought the Americans and British were afraid of fighting in jungles. The movie shows how quickly the American soldiers learned to fight in the jungle. In the middle of the movie they showed the Japanese soldiers surrendering. In the real war the Japanese committed suicide before they surrendered. It turned out that most of the POW's in the Pacific War were Korean conscripts used for slave labor by the Japanese. The movie took to long to end. After the Japanese encampment is captured the movie spends a lot of time examining the minds of the main characters. I didn't see this movie in the theater; I waited till it came out on DVD and then bought the DVD.

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