Saturday, August 16, 2014

Windtalkers (2002)

Director: John Woo

Writers: John Woo, Joe Betteer

Composer: James Horner

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach , Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich, Mark Ruffalo, Brian Van Holt, Martin Henderson, Roger Willie, Frances O'Connor, Christian Slater, Jason Isaacs

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Honor Was Their Code.

Plot: WWII. Joe Enders, a decorated Marine who is by-the-book to a fault, is just coming back on duty (by cheating on his medical tests). "Ox" Anderson, much greener, is also getting the same new task: Protect the Navajo codetalkers (Ben Yahzee and Charles Whitehorse, respectively). While Enders is initially frustrated with his assignment, his respect grows as the codetalkers prove their worth in the brutal battle to take Saipan.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I've avoided this one for years because of the bad rap it gets.  It's not THAT bad.  The story of the Windtalkers seems like it's more interesting than this film portrays.  How about that Nicolas Cage?  This dude's one helluva killing machine!  He's got a body count as big as The Black Death.  Nearly every bullet he fired hit its target like magic.  The same goes for the U.S. and Japanese big guns.  Every shell landed exactly where they wanted it.  I'm pretty certain that in reality both sides missed a few. The combat scenes are fantastic.  The island warfare was massive and Woo did an amazing job with those.  This film is pretty good but it's remarkable at how effective Enders (Cage) was with weapons.  Christian Slater does a fine job.  I'm starting to like him more and more.  Adam Beach as the main Windtalker, Ben Yahzee, turns in a fine performance, too, and so does Roger Willie as Ben's friend, Charlie Whitehorse.  He had such a likable persona.  I'm really surprised that he's only got 7 credits on IMDb.  He was great in this.  Horner's score worked well and I wasn't hearing other scores he's done until the final battle when that STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) riff showed up a few times.  Duh nuh nah naaaaaaa.  You know the one.  It's a great little motif but he's used it in more pictures than I can recount.  I'm glad I finally got around to seeing this and that it's not nearly as bad as I was led to believe.  The only extras on the MGM DVD are a small handful of trailers for this film and a couple of others.

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