Rescue Dawn

2006

Adventure / Biography

65
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 7.4

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Christian Bale as Dieter Dengler
Steve Zahn as Duane
Zach Grenier as Squad Leader
720p
801.58 MB
1280*700
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 12 / 27

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tomcardello 10 / 10

Not a "popcorn" film

Besides terrific acting & a compelling (true!!) story, this film does not wallow in over-glorifying itself. It doesn't try to pump up the audience with patriotic blather or "gee whiz, what a guy" feel good stuff. It simply tells the story of this incredibly courageous and resourceful man, Dieter Dengler. This is a great example of how films should be made. Also, the film's historical content was very, very accurate, the writers took few if any liberties with the truth.

Christian Bale is indeed an actor to be reckoned with. He's quickly becoming one of my favorites. His acting is believable and subdued.

Highly recommended but see it in a theatre and not on DVD in order to get the full effect of this great story.

Reviewed by David H. Schleicher 9 / 10

One Flew over the Bamboo Hut

For me, Werner Herzog will always be remembered for his haunting 1979 remake of "Nosferatu." Next to the silent-era original, it's probably the greatest artistic statement ever put to film on the myth of the vampire. Apart from that, he's been one of those fascinatingly enigmatic European infant-terrible directors, brazenly going against the studio system and doing whatever he damn well pleases, be it documentaries or bizarre art films. "Rescue Dawn" comes as a huge surprise, and proving that he still does whatever he pleases, is a dramatized version of the true story of Vietnam POW Dieter Dengler that Herzog previously filmed as a documentary in 1997 entitled "Little Dieter Needs to Fly." Masterfully realized, "Rescue Dawn" emerges as Herzog's most accessible film. After over 30 years of film-making, he's gone "Hollywood" but has done it on his own terms.

"Rescue Dawn" features classical and feverishly transcendent direction from Herzog, breathtaking cinematography of Laos and Vietnam from Peter Zeitlinger, a triumphant and evocative music score from Klaus Bedelt, and Oscar-worthy performances from an amazing cast. In the lead role of Dieter, Christian Bale once again puts his whole body into the character (as he did in "The Machinist"). Bale has become one of those rare actors whose every role seems to be the performance of his career. Also noteworthy are Jeremy Davies ("Saving Private Ryan," and "Ravenous") as Eugene from Eugene, Oregon, who seems to always get cast as the most emotionally unstable soldier, and a shockingly good and sympathetic Steve Zahn as Duane. Herzog puts the cast through the ringer in artistically rendered depictions of torture, horror, and survival in the harshest of conditions. Even in some of the most cringe-worthy scenes, Herzog turns what could've been wallowing on its head--witness the fantastic transition from Bale eating live worms and one crawling in his beard to a beautiful caterpillar leisurely making its way across a leaf in the peaceful jungle.

Essentially what we have here is the war-movie version of Milos Foreman's "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" as Herzog depicts a group of average men who were slightly crazy already becoming increasingly more mad through involuntary imprisonment. While Bale's character refuses to be held down and is constantly trying to keep his brain and skills sharp through plotting an escape, some of his fellow prisoners are rendered hopeless as they have turned their own minds into the most impenetrable walls. Herzog does a great job of depicting tiny bits of humanity and dignity shining through in the most inhumane conditions, and how the will to survive can triumph over death. He's somehow crafted a movie that is both boldly anti-establishment and unapologetically pro-soldier and patriotism. Being based on a true story where the ending is known to the viewer doesn't take away from the white-knuckle suspense and human drama. Unlike Foreman's classic from the 1970's, where Jack Nicholson (mirrored here by Bale) flew over the cuckoo's nest and disappeared into his own insanity, Herzog gives up hope. One flew over the bamboo hut...and he made it.

Reviewed by joe-886 10 / 10

Don't Politicize This Film!

I am amazed at how many people are so consumed with Anti-War fever that they can't appreciate a true story about a man who overcomes something that most people couldn't. If it does not reinforce their preconceptions then they consider it propaganda. Yet these same people hale anything, no matter how absurdly ridiculous that reinforces their beliefs. They completely miss the point. Their own prejudices keep them from recognizing and appreciating a work of art when they see it. Many of today's filmmakers seeking to make both fictional films and documentaries about the war in Iraq, as well as wars from the past, are running into a brick wall. Both Hollywood and the Independent Film Industry are refusing to show films that do not take a distinctive anti-war slant. Filmmakers that show an objective view of warfare, neither taking a position for or against the war, are finding it next to impossible to get their films shown. Likewise, if the film is even remotely related to a war and does not blatantly condemn it then it does not get shown. Just ask Nick Bicanic & Jason Bourque how hard it was for them to get their excellent documentary about the modern day use of Private Security Companies seen. As them how many studios offered to purchase the rights to film if they would only change the tone to one of condemnation rather than examination. I get the sense, from the back story about the lack of financing Herzog was able to get for this project that he ran into the same problem. Frankly I am appalled. The industry, both mainstream and independent, are pushing their own agendas over all else. The art form is suffering greatly for it. I congratulate filmmakers like Bicanic and Herzog for refusing to take no for answer. As for this film, it honors a man who risked his life not only for his country but for his fellow POWs. You can hate war and still respect the men and women who were called upon to fight it. You can hate war and still call a POW who escapes capture despite impossible odds a hero. You can hate the war in Iraq and appreciate the sacrifices the men and women who are fighting it are making on your behalf. Don't let your own personal bias lead you to make a mistake you'll regret for the rest of your life. Protest the war all you like, just do it in a way that does not belittle the airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines who are fighting it. Whether you agree with their decision or not, they deserve your understanding and your respect. Just as Dieter Dengler, the POW on whom this film is based, deserves your respect. Don't belittle his sacrifice by politicizing this film. Whether you agree with his decision to become fighter pilot or not, his accomplishments.

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