In 1972 Vietnam, a group of United States Marines are sent in to rescue several POW officers. The Landing Zone (LZ) which should have been "cold" actually turns out to indeed be very "hot" ...
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Follow the path of the red-handled weapon used by Rick Grimes to kill Terminus leader Gareth; from its innocent beginnings on a hardware store shelf at the start of the apocalypse into the hands of various survivors, familiar and new.
In 1972 Vietnam, a group of United States Marines are sent in to rescue several POW officers. The Landing Zone (LZ) which should have been "cold" actually turns out to indeed be very "hot" (characterized by violent and forceful activity or movement ; very intense). Soon, after a short fight, only four of the soldiers are left alive. Later, the platoon which they were to meet the next day is entirely wiped out with the exception of one nut-case. The small group then arrives at the conclusion that they are all expendable decoys. Between all of the walking, talking, arguing and assaulting between the four soldiers, there are flashbacks to all of their contrite lives before serving in the Corps. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Unconventional 'Nam film with fresh dialogue and unostentatious performances
I came across this film randomly and ended up enjoying it immensely, much more than I expected to from the jacket cover. This is an unconventional 'Nam flick and the director's risk-taking is palpable and for me it energised the storytelling. The Walking Dead is not an action movie, nor is it a shoot-em-up. It doesn't fetishise gore; the battle scenes serve the plot like a Greek chorus punctuating the real story: tracing the tragi-comedic decisions of the main characters, with a healthy dose of pathos at life's vagaries.
A handful of black soldiers are thrown together after surviving everyone else in the mission, and as the film progresses we're given insight into what led up to their dire situation. It's immersive storytelling, and there's a theatre quality to the scenes - the intimacy of the performances evoked a play-like weightiness for me. Every major character has a backstory that is revealed in monologues and flashbacks, and each soldier provides us with some insight into the consequences of reliance on each other. Another worthy topic explored: why did some folks ship off voluntarily to Vietnam?
The war then provides the backdrop for parable-like tales of how impulsivity, vulnerability, rejection, naivité, self-preservation and hardship can bring us to crossroads. It also explores the relationship between interdependence and survival, and a need/repulsion dyad. How do you relate to people when they're dying unexpectedly all around you? Or betraying you? Or desired by you? All the performances feel fresh, relatable, poignant and unpretentious. Characters have very real mundane lives and methods of escapism. The continual foreshadowing itself becomes a kind of subtext: things might be fine this minute, but things rarely stay fine for long, especially in the face of human frailty. I liked that feeling of gentle gloom, it built suspense for me.
Sure there are some realism quibbles, but this film is far better than a Rambo (and you don't hear people criticizing Rambo for not being realistic!). And ignore the conspiracy-theorist reviews -- there's nothing in this movie comparing casualty numbers between African Americans vs. Caucasians. Four black soldiers are thrown together, and the story begins.
The dialogue is well-crafted, real, and served raw, and there was more than one scene that I found reminiscent of David Mamet or the dark banter of Reservoir Dogs, and maybe even a hint of a battle-fatigued Henry V. There are some hilarious lines in here, and a fantastic stunt scene with a window for the stunt nuts.
The Walking Dead comes across as a stage play, with proper beats between lines at times when actors have realisations or internal turmlil. Backstories are effectively counterposed with the scenes in the present (jungle): 20/20 hindsight and resignation force the soldiers to reflect, retell and relive their past decisions in a kind of homeostasis while they fight to survive and get along. This homeostasis is broken at the end as hindsight and regret are less important than future-building.
I didn't find the plot or ending predictable at all. Although the denouement is a bit trite, it felt satisfying in that parable kind of way. The characters who survive get to have an arc in this denouement, confirming that you can go on, you can survive, you can live down mistakes, and people can change when they're willing to be vulnerable and honest with themselves.
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