Rescue Dawn


Adventure / Biography

IMDb Rating 7.4


Downloaded 101135 times
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23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
126 min
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23.976 /
126 min
P/S 5 / 59

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DaveTheNovelist 9

For me, Werner Herzog will always be remembered for his haunting 1979 remake of &quot;Nosferatu.&quot; Next to the silent-era original, it&#39;s probably the greatest artistic statement ever put to film on the myth of the vampire. Apart from that, he&#39;s been one of those fascinatingly enigmatic European infant-terrible directors, brazenly going against the studio system and doing whatever he damn well pleases, be it documentaries or bizarre art films. &quot;Rescue Dawn&quot; comes as a huge surprise, and proving that he still does whatever he pleases, is a dramatized version of the true story of Vietnam POW Dieter Dengler that Herzog previously filmed as a documentary in 1997 entitled &quot;Little Dieter Needs to Fly.&quot; Masterfully realized, &quot;Rescue Dawn&quot; emerges as Herzog&#39;s most accessible film. After over 30 years of film-making, he&#39;s gone &quot;Hollywood&quot; but has done it on his own terms.<br/><br/>&quot;Rescue Dawn&quot; features classical and feverishly transcendent direction from Herzog, breathtaking cinematography of Laos and Vietnam from Peter Zeitlinger, a triumphant and evocative music score from Klaus Bedelt, and Oscar-worthy performances from an amazing cast. In the lead role of Dieter, Christian Bale once again puts his whole body into the character (as he did in &quot;The Machinist&quot;). Bale has become one of those rare actors whose every role seems to be the performance of his career. Also noteworthy are Jeremy Davies (&quot;Saving Private Ryan,&quot; and &quot;Ravenous&quot;) as Eugene from Eugene, Oregon, who seems to always get cast as the most emotionally unstable soldier, and a shockingly good and sympathetic Steve Zahn as Duane. Herzog puts the cast through the ringer in artistically rendered depictions of torture, horror, and survival in the harshest of conditions. Even in some of the most cringe-worthy scenes, Herzog turns what could&#39;ve been wallowing on its head--witness the fantastic transition from Bale eating live worms and one crawling in his beard to a beautiful caterpillar leisurely making its way across a leaf in the peaceful jungle.<br/><br/>Essentially what we have here is the war-movie version of Milos Foreman&#39;s &quot;One Flew over the Cuckoo&#39;s Nest&quot; as Herzog depicts a group of average men who were slightly crazy already becoming increasingly more mad through involuntary imprisonment. While Bale&#39;s character refuses to be held down and is constantly trying to keep his brain and skills sharp through plotting an escape, some of his fellow prisoners are rendered hopeless as they have turned their own minds into the most impenetrable walls. Herzog does a great job of depicting tiny bits of humanity and dignity shining through in the most inhumane conditions, and how the will to survive can triumph over death. He&#39;s somehow crafted a movie that is both boldly anti-establishment and unapologetically pro-soldier and patriotism. Being based on a true story where the ending is known to the viewer doesn&#39;t take away from the white-knuckle suspense and human drama. Unlike Foreman&#39;s classic from the 1970&#39;s, where Jack Nicholson (mirrored here by Bale) flew over the cuckoo&#39;s nest and disappeared into his own insanity, Herzog gives up hope. One flew over the bamboo hut...and he made it.

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Reviewed by zetes 9

If you&#39;re a big fan of the mad German genius Werner Herzog, you might be disappointed in this, his first foray into Hollywood film-making. This is polished and not at all experimental. However, to me it feels like Herzog, when he stepped up to the plate, said to himself, &quot;Well, I can make an American film. And I can make a better one than 95% of American films.&quot; And there&#39;s nothing wrong with that. The film is a dramatization of the events retold in Herzog&#39;s earlier documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Christian Bale plays Dieter Dengler, an American citizen and German emigré who had one of the most impressive survival instincts ever seen in a human being. Shot down in Laos in the opening throes of the Vietnam War, he was taken to a brutal POW camp where he met two other American POWs (Jeremy Davies and Steven Zahn in the film) and three Asian men who had worked with the enemy. The two Americans had been there for an average of a couple of years, and had all but given up hope (the Davies character is sure there will be peace soon enough). Through his amazing ingenuity, Dieter planned a heroic escape. Most of the movie takes place in the POW camp. Most of what I remember from Little Dieter Needs to Fly, which I saw around two years ago, is the escape. It&#39;s a disturbing, horrifying tale of survival. I would have liked this part to be the longer, but it works very well. It&#39;s certainly harrowing. I was disappointed that one of the images I really remember from the original film did not appear: the bear that stalked Dieter during his final days wandering in the jungle. He considered it almost a friend, but in the back of his mind realized it was following him because it wanted to eat him. Herzog keeps things extremely subtle, telling them very much the way they happened. The story develops more like real life, not like a movie. It keeps melodrama to a minimum. My only problem is how it ends. The ending is way too boisterous and uplifting. Dieter Dengler was most definitely an upbeat kind of guy, but his suffering and the awful things that he saw ? heck, with the awful things that we just experienced with him, so vivid is this movie ? don&#39;t lead well to the celebration that ends the movie. I very much liked this film, and think it is one of the best I&#39;ve seen so far this year.

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Reviewed by tomcardello 10

Besides terrific acting &amp; a compelling (true!!) story, this film does not wallow in over-glorifying itself. It doesn&#39;t try to pump up the audience with patriotic blather or &quot;gee whiz, what a guy&quot; feel good stuff. It simply tells the story of this incredibly courageous and resourceful man, Dieter Dengler. This is a great example of how films should be made. Also, the film&#39;s historical content was very, very accurate, the writers took few if any liberties with the truth.<br/><br/>Christian Bale is indeed an actor to be reckoned with. He&#39;s quickly becoming one of my favorites. His acting is believable and subdued.<br/><br/>Highly recommended but see it in a theatre and not on DVD in order to get the full effect of this great story.

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