Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tunnel Rats (2008)

AKA: 1968 Tunnel Rats

Director: Uwe Boll

Writers: Dan Clarke, Uwe Boll

Composer: Jessica de Rooij

Starring: Toufeeq Adonis, Wilson Bethel, Adrian Collins, Scot Cooper, Mitch Eakins, Erik Eidem, Brandon Fobbs, Shih Jou-An, Jane Le, Devan 'Yankee' Liang, Scott Ly, Rocky Marquette, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Michael Pare, Nate Parker, Brad Schmidt, Jeffrey Christopher Todd, John Wynn

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Hell Is For Heroes

Plot: In this no-holds-barred, action-packed portrayal of the Vietnam War, a special US combat unit is on a mission to hunt down Viet Cong soldiers in the endless tunnels beneath the jungles of Vietnam.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Here's a case of don't listen to what the internet says.  Uwe Boll gets a lot of shit about how awful he and his films are.  The world of haters has somehow latched onto this man like he's the Antichrist or something, brutally criticizing everything he does regardless of whether they've seen it or not.  When a new film comes out it's an instant turkey, as the internet tells us.  Yeah, he's made some bad films but he's also done some good ones, too.  My friends and I thought BLUBBERELLA (2011) was pretty damn hilarious. I've seen a few of his pictures and some were bad, some OK and some good.  TUNNEL RATS is very good and I urge you to give it a look.  It's very different than Boll's other work in the story, the way it's shot (the cinematography of the jungle (shot in South Africa) looks fantastic and it goes a long way to give you a sense of place and time), the special effects, the strong performances, the suspense and tension and its overall execution.  I'm impressed.  There's a scene involving an American poking his head out of a tunnel to find he's facing the enemy.  How he handles it (the character and Boll) is very well handled.  The ending doesn't leave you feeling happy or even remotely optimistic.  It's bleak and it should be.  As the scene lingered I kept expecting the expected and Boll chose the perfect ending. 

Composer Jessica de Rooij's score is very good, too, and she's impressing the hell out of me.  She started scoring films in 2007 at the age of 26 and since then she's added another 28 scoring credits.  It's possible that my expectations were lowered because of the low IMDb rating and all of the hate but then I've seen Boll do some pretty good things and I know the guy is capable of making a good picture.  Fuck the critics on this one; it's good, it's highly underrated and war movie fans need to give this one a shot. 

The Vivendi DVD has a great widescreen transfer and few extras including a 14-minute interview with Boll, a 10-minute behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes and a trailer.

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