Customer Reviews for

Rescue Dawn

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    So speaks Dieter Dengler when asked for comment at the end of his journey of jungle captivity in Laos. RESCUE DAWN is as much about the courage and fortitude of a captured soldier during wartime as it is about a true incident. From the inherent optimism of pilot Dieter Dengler (played with commitment and finesse by Christian Bale) the story transcends biopic and offers lessons for life in general the human spirit can be indefatigable. Writer/director Werner Herzog has expanded his 1997 documentary about Dieter Dengler and in doing so he has provided us entry into the psyches of soldiers captured by the enemy and the extraordinarily trying conditions in which they survive. The optimistic and eager Dengler is sent on a classified mission to bomb certain targets in Laos in 1965 with his fellow pilots including his best friend Spook (Toby Huss). Denlger is shot down and captured, interrogated, tortured, and placed in a prison with fellow inmates Duane (Steve Zahn in a career changing superb performance), Gene (the emaciated and excellent Jeremy Davies), Phisit (Abhijati 'Meuk' Jusakul), and Procet (Lek Chaiyan Chunsuttiwat). The living conditions are deplorable: the men are starved, chained together making even the possibility of caring for bodily functions negligible, and the moral is low. Dengler changes that using his ingenuity and immediately plans for escape. Duane aids Dengler but Gene fears the consequences of an aborted escape attempt. Yet with Dengler's expertise and cunning the escape into the jungle is planned and is essentially successful - until the other enemy (the jungle) reduces the forces to one. As Dengler is rescued he is left with the ghosts of his fellow inmates, a factor that will haunt him and alter his life after rescue. Christian Bale's performance is near perfect as are the performances by Zahn and Davies. The film feels too long at times but that also suggests that director Herzog wants the audience to understand the mental deterioration and stagnant time cycle that cripples prisoners of war. The atmosphere of the prison camp is presented well and if the ending of the film becomes a bit too 'Hollywood', after the 2+ hours of prison confinement that is somewhat of a relief. RESCUE DAWN is a powerful film with some of the best acting of the year's crop and certainly deserves the attention of a wide audience. Grady Harp

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2009

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