Rescue Dawn Reviews
a slow burner, it started off with the usual christian bale dodgy acting and a cheap looking plane crash. it somewhat improved during the P.O.W. camp mid-section. NOTE: drink coffee to stay awake. the eventual escape and final act though was immense. focused purely on survival i found myself wanting it to go on. i could've watched that bit only expanded into a whole film in itself. the beautiful location it was shot in helped and well... the positives more than outweighed the negatives.
But there's something off at times. Bale's performance as Dengler is full of relentless courage and strength, as to be expected from an actor who always gives it his all, but some of his line delivery feels oddly stilted. There's scenes in which Dengler is screaming when faced with the barrel of a rifle, and the dialogue just doesn't flow well enough. It's hard to pinpoint whether it's just not great delivery from Bale, or if Herzog's dialogue is just awkwardly written, but it's occasionally distracting nonetheless. A lot of the things that bring Rescue Dawn down are just little things like this: Klaus Badelt's score is beautiful but overbearing, the visual effects for the plane crash are awkward (although this is Herzog's first major use of digital effects), and the ending is oddly conventional for a filmmaker like Herzog. We know how it's going to end, sure, but it lacks that punch that the story should have.
It's well made and has a good performance by Christian Bale at its center, but for the most part I found Rescue Dawn to be poorly paced and boring at times.