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In place of the moral ambiguity offered by, say, Platoon or Hamburger Hill, We Were Soldiers presents us with archetypes. Gibson's family man colonel is almost a parody of Patton, a man with so much heart you wonder how he manages to get up in the morning. He's a good Catholic, loves his men, and tells us that he's the first one on the battlefield and the last one off. And if that self-eulogising wasn't enough we have the slow-mo, heavily scored last-one-into-the-helicopter moment to prove it. In uncomfortably jingoistic contrast, the commander of the Viet Cong never leaves his cavernous headquarters as he sends his faceless foot soldiers to their death.
What saves the film are Ryan Hurst's performance as the stoic Sergeant Ernie Savage and Barry Pepper's non-combatant journalist who gets caught up in the action and has to fight to survive, both of whom inject some much-needed humanity into the action. Otherwise there is so little character development before the offensive that you find yourself squinting at the screen trying to work out who just bought the bullet when you really should be feeling every gunshot. Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace's direction is heavy handed and over sentimental--relentless violence masquerades as poignant remembrances of the futility of war--and the only time it ever approaches genuine emotion is the scene where the wives begin receiving telegrams detailing their husband's deaths. When measured against Hamburger Hill and Full Metal Jacket, We Were Soldiers doesn't even deserve to be in the same platoon. --Kristen Bowditch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
For me,their was only one Vietnam War Film, and that was the classic " 'Acropolis Now'" with Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen. Read morePublished 10 days ago by JamesBond
Europe lost 8 million people in WW2 and we are thankful the American people joined us. Little did we know that while Jacqueline Kennedy was flying her dead husband home from... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Dickie-Fry
I don't know how historically accurate this film is. I don't know how closely portrayed the real officers and men are by Mel Gibson and co. Read morePublished 24 days ago by officer801
Two hours of my life wasted on this tosh. Read the other 1* star reviews for details (wish I had!)Published 26 days ago by Jok1961
Without a doubt one of the best war films out there. Combining emotional drama at home with the harsh and brutal reality of combat, this film is well worth the watch. Read morePublished 28 days ago by MBA
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