(director/writer: Mark Earl Burman; screenwriters: Johnny Lozano/Michael McClung; cinematographer: Dan Frantz; editor: Matthew Cassel; music: We Are Dark Angels; cast: Aaron Eckhart (Gen Drummond), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Capt. Miller), Connor Paolo (Cpl. Ackermann), Mac Brandt (Crawford), Gregory Sims (Capt. Mora); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Mark Earl Burman; Saban Film; 2023)
“Unimpressive low-budget cliched Vietnam war film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An unimpressive low-budget cliched Vietnam war film directed by Mark Earl Burman (“Ricky Rosen’s Bar Mitzvah”) and poorly co-written without a moral compass by him, Johnny Lozano and Michael McClung. It’s inspired by a true story, and is both too talky and too violent. As the war was a mistake, so is the film.
It’s 1966, in the early days of the war, the antsy General Drummond (Aaron Eckhart), at headquarters, sends Special Forces Captain Mora (Gregory Sims) to a remote base to pick up a lost secret binder with the names of Vietnamese agents. But the Viet Cong set an ambush and get their hands on the binder. The furious Drummond orders his troops to get it back at any cost. The only men available to retrieve it are the engineers doing construction work at the base, who are under the command of the inexperienced college educated Cpl. Ackermann (Connor Paolo).
The engineers in their quest are joined by a dog tracker, Captain Miller (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a hunter in civilian life, and a Special Forces operative, Crawford (Mac Brandt).
Though Mora undervalues Ackermann, Miller makes use of Ackerman’s drafting skills and sends him into the Viet Cong tunnels to draw a map, while he tracks them above ground.
Things move underground for a good part of the film and are uninteresting. Though constructed like an old war film, it fails us by having too much dialogue and too little action.
The B-film never enlivens its characters, and its story never is compelling.
REVIEWED ON 3/3/2023 GRADE:C+