The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.
During World War II when the Americans needed to find a secure method of communicating they devised a code using the Navajo language. So Navajos were recruited to become what they call code talkers. They would be assigned to a unit and would communicate with other units using the code so that even though the enemy could listen they couldn't understand what they were saying. And to insure that the code is protected men are assigned to protect it at all costs. One of these men is Joe Enders, a man who sustained an injury that can make him unfit for duty but he manages to avoid it and is told of his duty and that the man he is suppose to protect is Ben Yahzee. Initially there is tension but the two men learn to get along. Written by
Prior to filming, most of the principal cast joined a core group of sixty-two extras for boot camp, where they endured a week of rigorous military training as World War II Marines. The production received assistance from the Department of Defense, which made Kaneohe Marine Corps Base available for the actor's basic training. Under the tutelage of Sergeant Major James D. Dever (a retired twenty-five-year veteran of the Marine Corps) and his active-duty Marine instructors, the cast learned how to walk, talk, and think like Marines. See more »
The start of the Camp Pendleton sequence opens with a closeup of a 50-star U.S. flag which is incorrect for 1943, the year of the action. The closeup dissolves to an establishing shot of the camp's parade square where a correct, 48-star flag is visible on the mast. The U.S. would not require a 50-star flag until 1959. See more »
His name was Joe Enders, from south Philadelphia. He was a fierce warrior, a good marine. If you ever tell a story about him George... Say he was my friend.
See more »
In WWII Navajo men were used as code talkers in the war--they translated messages while in combat into their own language, and transmitted it that way. This was done so the Japanese were unable to understand the messages. It's a very interesting little known fact about the war. It's a good thing they made a movie about it--it's too bad the movie is so lousy.
Every single clichéd line and character found in WWII movies are all here. There's the sergeant who is suffering from a former war trauma; the eager young kid (who you know is gonna get it); the racist (who sees the error of his ways); the nice guy who is horrified by what he sees; the saint-like Navajos etc etc. The dialogue is astonishingly bad. I've heard these same lines from other war flicks--some of them are lifted verbatim (it seems)! Every single line and conflict is predictable. I was able to tell in the first 20 minutes who was going to die--that's how predictable this is!
I almost left but the movie DOES have it's good points. For one thing, war is not glorified. The battle sequences are bloody, loud, very graphic and upsetting...as they should be. However, director John Woo has always been good at shooting violence. Also there's no stupid obligatory romance--heck, there's virtually no females here! There's some good acting also--Adam Beach as one of the Navajos is fantastic--handsome, intelligent if a little too saintlike. Mark Ruffalo is also affecting and Christian Slater (not playing a jerk for once) is excellent. Unfortunately, Nicholas Cage gives another lousy performance as the main character. Can we take back the Oscar he got for "Leaving Las Vegas"?
So, aside from some good acting and extreme violence (be warned...it's VERY explicit...some people walked out because of it), I can't recommend this. Too bad...the subject matter is so interesting.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this