A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
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.
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
First, the bad: Nicholas Cage's over-the-top, suicidal maniac, idiotic self-pitying marine played with no subtlety at all. Peter Stormare's lousiest performance to date, he's been going downhill since the excellent work in FARGO. Perhaps that one was just luck for him, and a good script. Excessive battle scenes, so much so as to give the viewer shell-shock too. For these, a ONE.
The good: both Adam Beach and Roger Willie give solid, well-bodied performances as the Navajo code talkers. The effort to recognize the contribution of the Navajo code talkers is a very positive aspect here, and for these reasons the film deserves a NINE. I give it an average of FIVE.
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