This film follows up on the story of Dieter Dengler, which Herzog had reconstructed in his documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Having crashed his plane during the Vietnam war, Dieter is taken prisoner along with other Americans.
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It is interesting to see Herzog in a production like this. He keeps his integrity and is able to do a good, solid film. In his body of work, I do prefer the documentaries and the more experimental (did not want to say poetic, because that adjective does not sound herzogian) films. But this is quite interesting. Herzog is interested in telling the stories, the details that usually are left untold. See where it ends.
this might be the most hollywood film of herzog. it even has the typical optimistic, hopeful, bombastic orchestral happy ending. despite that, its still a herzog film, a weird film, with his use of wide angle lenses to show the surreality and uneveness of being lost in the jungle. good film.
20 minutes too long, and the ending is overly sentimental for sentimental's sake, but this is a genuinely brilliant piece of entertainment that manages to bring humour and warmth to a dire situation: Hollywood Herzog is okay by me.
I nearly switched off after 20 minutes, but I'm glad I didn't. Terrible at the beginning, but worth sticking with. Although the ending is a bit cheesy too.. so what I'm saying is that it was a good film at some point in the middle! You get the impression that this film was an epic survival for the central actors, and they appeared to give a lot for this film.
I was torn between giving this 3 or 4 stars, but I've opted for 4 based on the performances alone. Steve Zahn, in particular, surprised me with this dramatic turn. Looking at his emaciated frame, listening to him sigh with desperation, and seeing him cling to Dieter like a helpless child was painfully heart-breaking. I hope to see him in more dramatic roles.