Christian Bale stars as German-born Dieter Dengler, an American pilot shot down over Laos in 1966. He ends up being captured and held as a POW, enduring torture and starvation. He and the other POWs manage to take over the camp and escape. Dieter is finally rescued after surviving 23 days in the jungle.
This would be appear to be a fairly normal POW escape film except that this one is based on a true story and a real person. Plus it's directed by one of cinema's most compelling and interesting directors in Werner Herzog. Dieter Dengler was a real person, and his story was initially explored by director Werner Herzogin the amazing documentary 'Little Dieter Needs to Fly' .
In 'Little Dieter' the story came straight out of Dieter's mouth. In 'Rescue Dawn', Herzog attempts a fairly mainstream (for Herzog) dramatic telling of the same events. The performances by Bale and Steve Zahn are great, and like most actors in Herzog films, they suffered a lot during the filming. Herzog is known for his adventure-filled shoots in exotic locations and this film is no exception. The scenery is amazing and you can feel the jungle closing in around you. The ending was somewhat awkward and generic for a Herzog film, but overall I found it to be a riveting film that does justice to the original documentary and to the true story on which it's based.
This week's new releases:
Live Free or Die Hard
Ghosts of Cite Soleil
The Top 10 rentals from the past week:
This is England
28 Weeks Later
Talk To Me
Todd Brashear is owner and operator of Wild 'n Woolly Video on Bardstown Road in the Highlands(online at www.wandwvideo.com ).