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.
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.
I like the movie as an interesting look of one man's journey in war. The movie claimed to be “based on true story” however it is said to be highly inaccurate. I understand, the movie tries to be entertaining but in this case of POW film it should have been handed respectfully with the truth! What these POW went through are too important to be distorted as whatever the Director and the Studio wants it to be.
Christian Bale proves once again he's the finest actor alive with this incredible performance. The movie was great too, I really thought the way Herzog shot the jungle was fantastic and score was also just incredible. All around highly entertaining and extremely well done with amazing performances, especially from Bale.
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.
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.