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This video version of the episodes "The Somme-September 1916" and
"Germany-September 1916" from the series THE YOUNG INDIANA JONES CHRONICLES
was long overdue for release. Having found myself lucky to have copies of
the originals on video and being a student of World War One warfare and
tactics, I found this story to be first-rate in showing the true feeling
horrors of fighting in the trenches during the Great War. Having Indiana
Jones in the episodes is only a sub-plot - the true story showing exactly
what happened in the trenches to great and horrific detail. Three
points - a man chokes to death during a gas attack, the jumping "charging"
of the trenches as they lose and gain ground, and the Germans advancing
through the gas with flamethrowers - parallels scenes from such great World
War One films as THE BLUE MAX or ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT for
I recommend this video to everyone who I know is studying World War One history, be it as a passing hobby, reenacting, or on the college level. It deserves to be in your library.
I came to this by chance having always previously avoided anything with
Indiana Jones in the title, which I suspected signified unsophisticated
adventure movies where "our hero" always wins through, against
seemingly insurmountable odds.
I watched from the very beginning, but did not realize it was an IJ movie until the very end, by which time it was only just becoming clear as to who the true hero was. That was because we saw the joinings and partings as the warriors progressed, and it was not until later in the film it became clear whose career we were ultimately following. That remained so until the last few minutes when there was a final parting of the remaining warriors in our story.
I do not know how precisely realistic it is but I was impressed that we were given an insight into the sort of tactics employed in "going over the top" from the trenches of the Somme in Belgium,
We were introduced to the conflicts between the French, Belgium and English allies and even to the poetry of Seigfried Sassoon who came to be recognised as one of the great English war poets. War is not glorified although it is just a little bit to clean and tidy to be completely believable. We see death and fighting but not blood, gore and body parts.
No indication is given to what the war was really about other than a passing reference to the industrialists who benefited from munitions manufacture, but I am not sure that anyone truly understands why WW1 was fought other than it was a power struggle fought in the way of 19th century tactics but with the earliest high power weapons that made the 20th century so notorious for mass war killings and woundings.
Then towards the end we see "our hero" confront the reality of being a prisoner of war and it is only then it all becomes a little bit too "Boys Ownish". I have to admit I was gripped to the somewhat abrupt end, which came far too soon for me and had me scurrying to the internet to find out more about the film and the WW1 experiences depicted!
I wonder if the other "young Indy" films are as worthwhile? I shall certainly give another a viewing if I see one scheduled.
Lost in the ranks of the Belgian Army Indy ends up fighting the Germans
on the front lines at the Battle of the Somme. It doesn't go so well
and he loses Remy in the chaos before being captured. His attempts to
escape from the POW camp end in disaster so he's transferred to an
inescapable prison on the Danube.
There's no archaeology or discovery in this one. It's all war and fighting with the usual amount of historical figures thrown into the mix. It moves fast enough and doesn't have that clunky feeling that some of the Young Indy stories sometimes have. Frederic Talgorn does a good job of emulating the sound of John Williams but he does recycle some of his Delta Force 2 score in there.
Trenches of Hell benefits from having a more cohesive story and better characters, but I would have liked just a little bit of mystery and less of a history lesson. Keep a lookout for a young James Nesbitt and Jason Flemyng.
As true to war a TV series could be until Band of Brothers and The
Pacific. A terrific film which is in my opinion is much scarier than
Saving Private Ryan but less bloody. The whole film is intense and is
as good as any war movie could be, the only difference with this one is
that Indiana Jones is in it. It's very brutal for what could be a PG-13
rated (if the MPAA rated TV shows) and 12-rated film. It seems like
that if you want a good war movie, get George Lucas and Steven
Spielburg on the job. I could class this as a child-friendly war movie
because it was no f-words and no guts hanging out of people's stomachs.
8 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones" continue as Indy (Sean Patrick
Flannery) experiences first-hand the horrors of trench combat at the
Battle of the Somme. He survives death by bullets, gas and
flamethrowers before eventually being captured. He is eventually sent
to an inescapable prison camp - the Deutchdenstadt, where he makes a
getaway with help of a young Charles de Gaulle...
Whilst not as graphic as the Steven Spielberg picture "Saving Private Ryan" (which this story, although set in World War I, takes some inspiration), war is not shown in a glorious light but rather a tragic and horrifying one. Sean Patrick Flannery does a good job of portraying Indy's desperation and bewilderment.
The POW section nods to "The Great Escape" as Indy gets away from not one but TWO prison camps. Look out for a young James Nesbit as a Russina prisoner Indy meets in Deutchdenstadt.
Brilliant episode and the accompanying documentaries are top-notch too.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another worthy chapter of the Young Indiana Jones Adventures, with Sean
Patrick Flanery as Indiana Jones. In a prior chapter we see he joined
the Belgian army because he did not have to prove he was an adult (he
was only 17). As this chapter begins we see Indy and his friend Remy
are two of the survivors of a fierce battle, one that resulted in all
the officers being killed, and young Corporal Indy was the high ranking
officer. They are placed with the French army.
Much of this 90-minute movie involves hand-to-hand combat in WW1 battles in France. We always know Indy will get out OK, because of the later Indiana Jones movies with Harrison Ford, but he gets into a number of tight situations, and gets captured by the Germans at least on two different occasions.
In one of those he meets up with French prisoner Charles De Gaulle, in his 20s, and they help each other escape by removing bodies from two pine caskets and getting carried out. In fact Charles De Gaulle, future President of France (1959 - 1969), did fight in WW1 and was captured, but tried unsuccessfully, five time, to escape.
Good, interesting chapter with appropriately high production values.
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