Taking Chance (2009 TV Movie)
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Based on a true story, the story follows LtCol Mike Strobl (Kevin Bacon), a military who volunteered to escort the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming. While on journey he realizes his importance on this function and how people get touched by his gesture.
The main plot is very original, it's something rarely showed in movies. It was interesting to see all the procedures taken before the corpse be transferred by car and airplanes, all the service made by the military who washes the body, collects the personal objects and similar things. And there's also the views of the main character on what he's doing and the way he deals with the matter and the people he sees on his journey. One of the most memorable scenes is when all the cars made a straight line escorting Mike's car and the funeral car carrying Chance's body. All the cars lined up, slowly. A very good homage.
It's a good portrayal about the people who stood up for something sacrificing their lives for its country. Instead of showing up battle scenes, the movie opted to include a conversation between Bacon's character and a soldier friend of Chance about how he died saving everybody else. It's a very touching scene (and the best also). After that Mike has a brief conversation with a war veteran (played by Tom Aldredge) where he thinks he could be a better person or he could do more if he was fighting in Iraq. The old man replies that what Mike's saying is nonsense. And we must agree with that. He's doing a noble thing, a great thing for his country even outside of enemy lines.
It's a great movie and there's no political message, or military propaganda on the surface and not even behind it. And even if it had a political context it still would be a great movie. I don't know why people get so touchy and bothered about such statements and such views. After all, politics is one the basis of mankind, basis of a society and when it's included in a film it can make a film more interesting. If it had such things in "Taking Chance" it would drag the movie in other direction and anyway that's another story.
An incredible tour-de-force performance by Kevin Bacon, who really captured the essence of a Marine devoted to his duties, and also showed a good emotional side not trying to do such. He's powerful here. But I still think that Golden Globes and SAG Awards should award Brendan Gleeson for "Into the Storm" (different story but both contain war as subject). Gleeson playing Churchill was more difficult, he had a tough and heavy text to portray and the aged makeup to make him similar to the British leader. But that doesn't make Bacon's acting less visible or inferior. Watch it and you'll enjoy it.
One of the rare films of today that lacks of criticism, and it's great because of that. It certainly honors all the brave people on battles, risking their lives whatever the cause, whatever the cost. 9/10
Like others, we were thankful there was no political bias. It was simply the true story of the respect that has been paid to everyone who died in defense of our freedom.
I served in the military on an aircraft carrier on station in the Mediteranean Sea in 1957. We lost 14 people in crashes and an on board fire during our 7 month cruise. About half of them were given burial at sea services. In addition, I have attended the military services of a number of others and even participated in the military service of one of our church members who died at Paris Island in a training accident.
In spite of all that exposure, I was totally unaware that KIAs were given the kind of personal respect and treatment depicted in the film. I was very impressed and moved, as I am sure most will be. Many have died, including one of my cousins, to preserve our freedom that has allowed me to live for 75 years so far. I relate more to Kevin Bacon's character as I was a supply officer. Had I the chance, I too would have volunteered for escort duty.
A must see movie. If you don't get HBO, look for the DVD sure to follow.
The movie is based on the actual experience of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who volunteers to escort the body of a young Marine (Chance Phelps) who was killed in Iraq, and whose remains are being returned to the Marine's family. Scene after scene in this movie are pitch perfect, and it made me appreciate the professionalism and sacrifice of those in the military. While I was personally opposed to the war in Iraq, I feel this movie is something every US citizen should see, as well as every government official. As a result of seeing "Taking Chance," the dedication and professionalism of our military is far more tangible, as well as the pain and suffering each family experiences with each death.
My only caution is that you should have tissue handy, since the movie made almost everyone in the audience cry. But as our Sundance group talked about the film afterwards, we were all deeply appreciative to have had the opportunity to see this movie, and gain new empathy with the rank-and-file in the military who are so heroic.
Everyone should see this movie. Itdoes not have any political or idealogical agenda. It is just a great story of service and sacrifice as well as respect and honor.
It was wonderful seeing Blanche Baker back in films after so many years. The daughter of the legendary Carrol Baker, Blanche won a best supporting actress Emmy over 30 years ago for the memorable "Holocaust" television series. After following this up with a role in Robert Redford's "The Candidate," she seemed to have dropped out of sight after all these years.
"The mortician did the best he could. It is recommended that the body not be shown for viewing." This line will forever live with me.
The film deals with patriotism and how a young man, apparently full of life, died a hero in Iraq while protecting others.