Rescue Dawn (2006)

When you mix in a story of a Navy pilot shot down during the Vietnamese War, and his harrowing plan of escape, I would think that this was my kind of film. Unfortunately, Rescue Dawn is rather lackluster, and doesn't add up to the sum of its parts.

Christian Bale plays Dieter Dengler, a German born man that had the dream of flight. After spending years in the US Air Force peeling potatoes, he goes to college living out of a Volkswagen (Digression: hey, it was the 60's, but that still doesn't explain the guy who did this in medical school that I knew.), and reenlists in the Navy. Dengler than becomes a Navy flier. He pilots the A-1 Skyraider from the USS Ranger (seriously, they were using propeller planes during 'Nam). On his inaugural mission over enemy territory Dengler gets shot down just over the Laotian border. Rescue Dawn chronicles his subsequent capture, torture, and escape.

So what's wrong with the film? The acting is merely average, but that is not what truly sinks it. Also, the scenery and setting seem to do the story justice. The screenplay simply obscures the amazing story of the principal character. I read the Wikipedia entry on Dengler, and it is a lot more fascinating than the film itself. The way the film progresses, sure we can't detail the entire guy's life, but Dengler hardly is portrayed as the hero that he was. Somehow, he seems too lackluster, and not a resilient guy that consistently bounces back from the knocks that life hands him.

Anyway, while the film is not terrible, I seriously think that it could have been a whole lot better. Breeze by Rescue Dawn, there's plenty of better movies out there.

Overall Grade: C

Reviewed by Jonas

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