MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Christian Bale as LT. DIETER DENGLER
Steve Zahn as DUANE
Jeremy Davies as GENE
Directed by: Werner Herzog
BY KEVIN CARR
A film like “Rescue Dawn” is an unfortunate casualty of the Hollywood marketing process. Sadly, it fell through the cracks this year – not big enough to become a bona fide hit, and not released late enough for full award consideration. However, just because it has been largely forgotten by critics and audiences this year doesn’t mean it should be forgotten.
“Rescue Dawn” tells the true story of Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a pilot during Vietnam who was shot down behind enemy lines. He spent a significant amount of time in a prison camp and eventually makes an escape to freedom.
Directed by Werner Herzog, who brings plenty of credibility to the project, the biggest flaw in this film is its adherence to the original story. Unlike a traditional Hollywood movie, “Rescue Dawn” follows the pacing and irony of real life. It is far from predictable and far from formulaic. Rather, Herzog presents the film almost as a filmed documentary, which adds to the realism.
Still, this is commendable, especially in the overdone Hollywood playing field. “Rescue Dawn” is quite possibly one of the most honest movies you’ll see this year, and judging from the passion I saw from the director and actors in the special features, they don’t give a damn whether this movie makes bank or wins awards. Dieter’s story is told in a rare, honest fashion.
The DVD comes with several featurettes that chronicle the making of the film. Through the interviews, we see the commitment of the stars and its director, which gave me a newfound respect for the movie.