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Good story line about a rescue mission of abandoned POWs in Laos with Gene Hackman, Randall "TEX" Cobb, Fred Ward, Reb Brown, Patrick Swayze, Harold Sylvester, Tim Thomerson, and Robert Stack. (1983, with English subtitles).
Just finished watching this film; good depiction of Nam and some of the s*** our boyz went thru but also some great laughs too. Well done! Only knock, they just need to be a little 'dirtier/filthy' being in the muck...to clean/pristine to truly authentic.
The premise of this film is that Americans were left behind in Southeast Asia after the war and the US government has done little or nothing to get them back home. This does not sit well with some people. Included among these are a powerful industrialist and a former Marine officer. They both have kids who were left behind and they are not willing to take bureaucratic platitudes in exchange for their kids' lives.
Gene Hackman plays the retired Marine officer. He will not let things lie for the sake of diplomatic niceties. For 10 years after the war, he puts all his time and energy into tracking down information on the missing POWs. When he finds evidence, he recruits some of the buddies of his son to go on a private rescue expedition. He gets funding from a wealthy industrialist who also has a missing son. The scratch rescue team puts together a plan and heads to Southeast Asia.
Nothing goes according to plan. The mission is betrayed by the US government and they lose their equipment and the majority of their funds. It looks like they are stuck but these guys are unwilling to take no for an answer. They pool their funds, scrounge some weapons and steal equipment. They then carry out their rescue mission with bittersweet results.
Some of this film is believable. That US POWs were left behind is commonly accepted. That diplomatic niceties would lead to the betrayal and frustration of rescue efforts would be par for the course. That men would be willing to die to save friends and comrades in arms from eternal prison is also quite acceptable.
Some of the film is beyond belief. The planning and execution of a complex mission seem substandard. Many are the explosions which seem out of scale to the ordinance and there are plenty of minor implausibilities scattered throughout.
The film is not great. Other films have better acting, better action or better plots but this one is somehow captivating. In a small way, it tries to redress a great wrong. It tells a good story and a story worthy of being true.
This has always been one of my favorites. Growing up during the Vietnam era, the MIA issue was always one I was aware of. Also, I always like a pure war movie. Parts of the movie are cheesy, but all in all a good war flick. The one issue I did have was that the DVD lagged on my Blu-ray player.