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
Prior to filming, most of the principal cast joined a core group of sixty-two extras for boot camp, where they endured a week of rigorous military training as World War II Marines. The production received assistance from the Department of Defense, which made Kaneohe Marine Corps Base available for the actor's basic training. Under the tutelage of Sergeant Major James D. Dever (a retired twenty-five-year veteran of the Marine Corps) and his active-duty Marine instructors, the cast learned how to walk, talk, and think like Marines. See more »
The start of the Camp Pendleton sequence opens with a closeup of a 50-star U.S. flag which is incorrect for 1943, the year of the action. The closeup dissolves to an establishing shot of the camp's parade square where a correct, 48-star flag is visible on the mast. The U.S. would not require a 50-star flag until 1959. See more »
[explaining to Ben why he enlisted]
Didn't want your white brothers thinking you were the best we had.
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An extended directors cut is available on dvd and features about 22 minutes of new footage. These include several extended battle scenes as well as a few fully deleted scenes including an early scene of Joe recieving a medal for his work at the start of the film. There are also several new scenes near the start as well including a scene of Joe and Rita on the beach. This scene was included in the trailer for the film. Also a scene of all the marines taking pictures before shipping off to war. Also an extended scene of Yazee introducing himself to Joe and joe asks if he has seen any combat to which yazee replies "No, but i'm looking forward to getting into some." There were also several other smaller additions and alternate angles and shots used. See more »
Well, at least it has an interesting original concept.
A war movie done John Woo-style sounded like such a good idea on paper. The slow-motion action sequences and other typical Woo-ism elements are often even more laughable than beautiful or realistic. Same goes for the deeper and sentimental meanings of the movie.
It's obvious John Woo wanted to make a "Saving Private Ryan" realistic like war movie but the movie gets stuck somewhere between Hollywood action/war entertainment and a serious war movie.
The battle sequences look too fabricated and planned out, which is of course a killer for the movie its realism. Sure the battle sequences all look fine and it obvious cost some serious money to make this movie.
Between all of the battles and action within the movie, there are lots of slow moments. Guess it tries to be deep or something, also about the Navajo-culture, in those moments but it instead feels pointless and often like a drag. Same goes for most of the sentiments within the movie. It's also the reason why the movie is quite long.
The movie is an underwritten one that for a genre movie is too formulaic. It's mostly a predictable movie that offers very few surprises or original moments. A shame, since the concept of the movie is definitely an original one. The movie also doesn't bother to tell where and why they are fighting. What are all these battles? Why are they being fought? And yes, of course the movie also finds room to put in a love-story. All of the character also remain pretty shallow one's, no matter how far they dig into their past.
Nicolas Cage just wasn't made for these sort of movies. The movie is filled with some other well known names in it and most of them do a good job. It's not like the acting is one of the weakest elements of the movie but that still doesn't mean that everyone was correctly cast.
It's definitely a watchable movie but its shortcomings just prevent this movie from being a great or really memorable one.
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