Friday, January 15, 2010

"Rescue Dawn" (director: Werner Herzog)

Count on Herzog to take opening shots of an air-to-ground bombing and make it look like a beautifully choreographed ballet of sorts. And leave it to Herzog to capture the majestic and lush natural scenery of a war-torn country and make it look like a National Geographic paradise retreat. But this isn't necessarily a stereotypical Herzog film, though it does feature a solitary man whose spirit overcomes startling odds -- a seemingly recurring theme for the famed German director. Starring marquee Hollywood madman Christian Bale as Dieter Dengler, "Rescue Dawn" is a true story of an enthusiastic American pilot who is shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War, and becomes a prisoner of Laotian insurgents. During his incarceration, he encounters a group of fellow P.O.W.s, who he befriends and plans a grand escape from his slightly sadistic captors. Bale's leaden performance isn't particularly impressive, but his supporting cast (including "Lost" cast member Jeremy Davies as emaciated P.O.W. Gene) makes up for it well enough. Remarkable photography, some memorable characters on both sides, and a subtle score (mostly by Klaus Badelt). Overall? Not one of Herzog's finest triumphs, but a worthy view, nonetheless.

Werner Herzog's official site

1 comment:

bloodshot23 said...

Thought this was a decent film based off Herzog's documentary, "Little Deter Needs To Fly".