Rescue Dawn – Review

Do you have that list of movies that got no love at the box office, but are pretty good? My list has films like The Saint, The Ghost and the Darkness, Memento, and now Rescue Dawn.

Christian Bale plays a pilot who gets shot down over Vietnam before the war actually starts. He survives the crash and gets thrown into a POW camp. The movie is “based on a true story” but this is Hollywood, so you know how that goes. Regardless of how much of the story is true, the blurb at the end about the guy is pretty fascinating. I may try and find a documentary about him.

Bale is becoming one of my favorite actors. I’ve seen him recently in Batman Begins, 3:10 to Yuma, and now this. Never once did I think I was watching Bruce Wayne in ‘Nam. There’s not too many actors who you can say that about.

But the best acting comes from Steve Zahn. Normally, he’s cast as Plucky Sidekick #1 like in Sahara and National Security (Yes, I saw that. Shut up.). But like Bale, he plays a completely different character. I swear the director got these two together on the first day and said, “Christian Bale, you are not Batman. And you, whatever your name is, you are not Plucky Sidekick #1.” However it went down, these two did a great job.

I should mention that this movie is rated PG-13 for “some sequences of intense war violence and torture.” Being an American, war violence doesn’t really bother me, but the torture scenes caused a grimace or two. This is also one of those movies where you can tell they edited it down to get the PG-13. I’ll let you decide if that was the right thing to do, but I don’t recall seeing a movie where the cuts were so obvious.

Anyway, this is a solid movie – definitely worth a rental.

Grade: A-

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