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A searing portrait of war and prejudice, 'Only the Brave' takes you on a haunting journey into the hearts and minds of the forgotten heroes of WWII - the Japanese-American 100th/442nd. In 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, overnight Japanese Americans were put into internment camps for the duration of the war. Determined to prove their loyalty, 1400 Japanese Americans successfully petitioned the government to serve becoming the 100th Infantry Battalion. They were sent to North Africa, Italy and finally France were they performed an impossibly-dangerous rescue of the Texas 36th Division. During their two years of combat these men received an unparalleled 21 Medals of Honor, 9,486 Purple Hearts, 8 Presidential Citations, 53 Distinguished Service Crosses, 588 Silver Stars and 5,200 Bronze stars - making them the most decorated unit of their size in American military history. This is their story. Written by
I really wanted to like this movie, even though seeing the bad reviews and grades, but I'm sorry to say I just couldn't. Already in the first scene,(incense and cultural clichés accompanied by ramblings), I was thinking "Nooo". Cheesy and conceited were adjectives that came to mind...
I'm very interested in military history, especially WWII. I have my roots in Finland, and therefore I have the same relationship to Finnish movies about the Winter war and Continuation war (btw something to take a look at for anyone interested in WWII, to see some of the least discussed but most astonishing military wonders of all times - a tiny Little poorly equipped army in a tiny little country, literally crushing the USSR Bear), as I suppose Asian Americans have to this movie, since it portrays a part of the US Army which seldom have gotten any recognition for their efforts and sacrifice.
(Also see "Days of glory", a rather good movie about the Algerian French soldiers in the French army during WWII - Another "forgotten" Group).
I also have a great interest and fair insight into different Asian cultures due to both personal interest and having several Asian in-laws in the family. Also, some of the areas in WWII history, which I have spent the most time on, are the affairs in Asia and the Pacific. So the genuine interest is there, and also a good insight and knowledge of actual history.
Still, I have to practically force myself through this syrupy mess... The degree of melodrama, over acting and oh-it's-so-sad, is so extensive that it makes me queasy. Everything is shoved in the face of the viewer, in a pathetically naïve way, leaving no room for any thought or reflexion. Nothing is subtle nor actually touching, since the director has drenched it all in banality and cheap clichés.
The acting is horrible and over dramatic overall, and leaves one with an uncomfortable feeling of embarrassment on the behalf of both the actors and the characters. They are all flat and one-dimensional, delivering predictable portraits with no depth. I would even say that the characters, in a way, mock and ridicule Asian Americans, and place the whole group in an old and clichéd POV. Which is both sad and frustrating.
The depiction of battle and warfare is badly acted, but mainly badly planned and executed by the director, giving an air of boys playing war at a paint-ball field, rather than actually being at the western front. Low budget is not an excuse since many movies pull it off anyway.
The script is annoying in it's throws hence and forth, and in it's lack of continuity and a red thread. The scenes don't drive the story forwards, but just seem random and confused. Dialogue is mostly bad.
Overall, this movie is a crappy mess with not much good to be said about. And that's irritating since this forgotten part of WWII-history is a very interesting one, and a movie made by a good director, with a good script and screenplay, with good actors, could have made it a see worthy pearl of a flick, instead of a pathetic puddle of syrup. :( I can't even recommend it to anyone except maybe descendants of the Asian American soldiers from the US troops of WWII. I think they could have some kind of benefit from this Movie, otherwise, it's mostly a waste of time. See something good instead.
Sad to say, because I so much would have wanted to like this.
But Lane Nishikawa kind of fu*ed up. Seriously badly so.
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