Bat 21 Reviews
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
This is a perfectly decent flick with good performances and intense behind-enemy-lines action but outside of the comradery that develops between the two leads over the radio (think Bruce Willis/Reginald VelJohnson in Die Hard), it doesn't do an awful lot that you won't have seen before. Pretty cliched too. It only takes one scene with Glover's happy-go-lucky pilot buddy to know he's a dead man!
I thought that the film presented some accurate depictions of the Vietnam War. However the acting particularly by the main characters made them act more like civilians in military uniforms rather than people who had been in the military for a while and understood the consequences of being in the military. I also got the feel of a film made in the time in which the film was created rather than a feel of a film that looked like it was filmed during the time period of the Vietnam era. I also felt like this film had a lot of unnecessary swearing which did not add to the films plot.