We Were Soldiers

November 1st, 2002 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

The Film

Because of America’s obsession with exorcising its demons, Hollywood is ever ready for a new Vietnam War angle, and We Were Soldiers offers another view we’ve never seen before — and does a good job.

Based on the book by real life Col. Hal Moore, it’s is about the American soldier as a hero for going to Vietnam, believing in what he was doing and following a strict moral ethos, personified by Gibson’s Moore. A Christian family man, he loves his men, leads them well and promises he’ll be the first one into battle and the last one out.

Soldiers tells a different story than Platoon and its progeny (where death and madness have taken over and America is fighting itself as much as the NVA). The army base wives at home waiting for the dreaded telegrams are pivotal to the story, and in a first for any American movie, it shows something of the Vietnamese themselves instead of faceless ghosts in the jungle.

Sight & Sound

Stunning sound in the battle sequences.

The Extras

Getting past the irritating introduction on the disc (that you have to watch every time it loads), there are some great features. A half-hour documentary talks about the authenticity according to the real Hal Moore, there’s some excellent deleted scenes, commentary and the usual trailers.

The Worth

A bit too American in places (complete with Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer American flags scattered throughout) — the cynical could dismiss it as Braveheart in Vietnam, but it is unique and drives home the ‘War is Hell’ theorem effectively.

3 out of 5


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