We Were Soldiers tells the story of the 1965 Battle of la Drang during the Vietnam War through the eyes of Lt. Col. Moore. Against an incredible number of Vietnamese, Moore led 450 American soldiers into a battle none would soon forget.
Mel Gibson (Lt. Col. Hal Moore), Madeleine Stowe (Julie Moore), Greg Kinnear (Maj. Bruce 'Snake' Crandall), Sam Elliott (Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley), Chris Klein (2nd Lt. Geoghegan), Keri Russell (Barbara), Barry Pepper (Joe Galloway), Ryan Hurst (Savage), Duong Don (Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An), Robert Bagnell (Hastings).
We Were Soldiers delivers some back-story and fluff before we begin to see first the hard side of the Army and then of Vietnam. Once the bullets start flying they just, don't, stop. The remainder of the film is an adrenalin rush of bullets, blood, and bombs. The human stories are okay but the actions and emotions of Moore are what make this story. That he plodded on in the face of such odds was either insanity or brilliance and the film gives us a bit of both. With a well expected ending, We Were Soldiers manages to finish nicely.
Acting was very entertaining from Gibson who has definitely found some variety in his skill set. Stowe was very solid in her supporting role, as was Kinnear. Elliott was fun as the grumpy Sergeant, while Pepper did very well with his part. The remainder of the supporting cast did well.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were well done throughout. Camera work variety was particularly enjoyable and brought a realistic feel to the film. Effects were also well done throughout with a solid realistic feel. Dialogue was enjoyable and contained nice variety. Sound and soundtrack were also good.
Overall We Were Soldiers is a well told story with overall good quality from every aspect, as we would expect from a film with this budget. War film and Vietnam war fans will likely enjoy this the most while those looking for drama will be disappointed.
With plenty of violence, blood, gore, and foul language save this one for older teens and above.
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Action & Adventure, Military Action & Adventure, War films
copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel
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