Lantern-jawed, thick-ear heroics with a mildly critical take on when a quarter of the globe was coloured pink and all that... Impressively mounted, squarely acted and reasonably literate. Just about the acceptable face of the 'action' genre for me.
Entertaining historical epic expertly creates a sense of mounting dread - especially through some impressive fluid camerawork, great eerie use of the chants of the Zulu warriors, and strong characters fleshed out by excellent performances. It did drag in spots, and some of the fight choreography isn't too convincing, but the strengths of the story and solid filmmaking prevail.
The British war against the Zulu in 1879 was purely an act of imperialism. Said that, this movie is about something different. "Saving Private Ryan" is located in WW2 and also is about something different. It is all about observing people (soldiers), who provide 'beyond-nature' performances under huge pressure, stress and mortal agony. We also learn about the "intelligent savage" Zulu "Buffalo Horn" battle strategy.
Out on the dusty African plains a small group of British and Welsh soldiers stand pat to fight thousands of angry native types (imagine Custer winning The Little Big Horn) . Michael Caine's first up in the big leagues is a memorable actioner about resolve, courage and grit in the face of overwhelming odds. Released in 1964 it doesn't contain the blood orgy we've come to expect of cinema but thrills nonetheless.
A brilliant action film with problematic politics. It's very easy now nearly fifty years detached to deride this film for its sympathies with colonists; however, it is first and foremost an exciting and well crafted movie, and second isn't ABOUT its politics. It's both hard to watch and riveting to the point you can't take your eyes off the screen all at once.