We Were Soldiers
first battle between American troops and North Vietnamese regulars
was in the Ia Drang Valley in 1965 and was a vicious three-day firefight.
under 400 men from the just-created 7th air cavalry regiment found
themselves cut off and up against 4000 NVA soldiers.
by Colonel Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) the US troops held out against
the odds, although they needed massive artillery and air-ground
support to survive.
Were Soldiers is the story of the battle at Ia Drang and it
is a no-holds barred war movie that is exciting, bloody and very
apart from non-stop battle scenes, the movie allows you to meet
the families of the men who fought the battle and, more poignantly,
lets you watch their wives as they receive telegrams delivered by
taxis that tell them their loved ones are dead or wounded.
Stowe plays Moore's wife Julie and she, with a junior officer's
lady Barbara (Keri Russell) have important roles in the film that
bring the human-cost balance to what could have been just a war
action is full on and the surrounded troopers must have known what
it was like when George Armstrong Custer, also of 7th cavalry fame,
found himself trapped and facing enemy hordes.
is bloody, with bullets ripping people apart, and one really yukky
scene where a napalmed-soldier's skin comes off in the hands of
a guy trying to rescue him.
is the professional soldier Moore and plays it perfectly. He's God-fearing,
family-loving and holds his boys very dear to his heart and while
it would be easy to fall into a caricature of the top soldier, Gibson
keeps it all in check.
Kinnear is excellent as the regiment's head chopper pilot Major
Bruce Crandall and the support cast includes such top talent as
Sam Elliot, Barry Pepper and Chris Klein.
is the super tough Sergeant Major Plumley, Pepper is photojournalist
Joe Galloway and Klein is the promising young lieutenant Jack Geoghegan.
the characters are real, which adds greater emotional weight to
We Were Soldiers, and the surviving ones are interviewed
in the extras on the DVD.
video transfer of We Were Soldiers is excellent with few
major one, however, was a glaringly obvious moire on a TV screen.
The colours are excellent, the imagery generally very sharp and
the sound is awesome.
Were Soldiers is a first-class movie that in no way glorifies
war, but does pay homage to the guys who actually go out to fight
and their families.