Sunday, August 5, 2007


True story

Zach Grenier: Squad leader aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger
Christian Bale: U.S. Navy pilot Lieutenant Dieter Dengler
Steve Zahn: U.S. Navy helicopter pilot Lt. Duane Martin
Jeremy Davies: a civilian Air America pilot, Eugene (Gene) DeBruin

Unlike most war stories this one is not loud and bombastic. Apart from the opening scenes, this fact-based story is all about how people deal with an unpleasant situation, the effect it has on them and their relationships with others.
The slow pace allows for ample character development and the performances of the three buddies are nothing short of amazing. Shooting mostly with existing light and right in the midst of it contributes to the feeling of watching a documentary.

With crisp editing (sometimes too crisp as we don’t get to see what comes next) and an unusual sound track that adds just the right tone to things, the two hours slip by if you are into this kind of thing.

for some sequences of intense war violence and torture (and I might add because of some really yucky stuff they get served).

Dengler’ squadron commander refers to him as a "Flight Lieutenant". This is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and in many Commonwealth countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There is no such rank in the American armed forces.

Dengler tells his buddies he is engaged to be married upon his return to the U.S.A. yet he is wearing a wedding band.

While being interviewed, Dengler takes a drink of water and puts down the glass, now half full. As he gets up to leave, the glass is now three-quarters full.

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