Rescue Dawn (2006, Biographical Vietnam Prisoner-of-War Adventure) – 5/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Christian Bale: Dieter
Steve Zahn: Duane
Jeremy Davies: Gene
Producer: Steve Marlton
Producer: Elton Brand
Producer: Harry Knapp
Writer inspired by true events in the life of Dieter Dengler: Werner Herzog
Director: Werner Herzog

Rescue Dawn (2006)

Before the Vietnam War: while on a secret bombing operation, US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler gets shot down over Laos and taken prisoner.


Sadly, this based-on-truth Vietnam prisoner-of-war adventure becomes rather dull. These guys need Rambo. Even before that the drama has little resonance and no insight. Christian Bale is good but never quite right. That’s a shame as he looks to have put some effort in as he munches on maggots and snakes. Sadly, his reported weight loss is, frankly, not particularly evident and could have been achieved using make-up. Steve Zahn goes waltzing past his acting limit and becomes a little embarrassing. Jeremy Davies is impressively emaciated but irritating as always. Story-wise, even though it’s based on truth, Herzog acknowledges it’s deliberately different from reality (he had previously made a documentary about the same subject) and the film makes Bale, probably unnecessarily and boringly, the movie’s solitary hero and plot motivator.

This movie contains sexual swear words and unpleasant scenes, graphic violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.


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