Run Time: 120 Mins
What To Expect: Good budget, no shitty melodrama, no shaking cameras
What do we want from war movies? A simple list; no overt propaganda, no romantic bullshit, no shaking cameras. Violence. Grit. And this new Aussie war movie comes in to man up November, with communist vermin getting turned into chaff or makeshift firewalls. Effort has been put into Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, so you should put some effort into checking it out.
Australia was of course involved in the Vietnam War, helping out their American Allies. The Americans contended, as did their Australian partners, that a communist takeover of Vietnam would truly get the ball rolling for the Domino Theory, with the plague hopping from country to country (and eventually reaching Australia’s comfort zone or even Oz itself.) Some argue that they lost the war, but the fact that the Americans and their partners financially bled the commies white in Vietnam, and they could not further collapse any dominoes beyond the mid 1970s, might say otherwise.
Anyway, this film follows one of Australia’s most significant episodes in their history; the Battle of Long Tan. Simply put, this film documents that hellish fight. Travis Fimmel (Vikings) stars as Major Harry Smith, tasked with leading raw recruits against a horde of 800 communists. After some perfunctory character introductions and establishment, the film hits the ground running with pretty much wall to wall battle.
The film does not whine or pontificate about ‘misadventure’, but merely sets out to dramatize an historical event of significance. Nor does it appear interested in going for the female buck and throttling things with some shitty love triangle. Nor does it screw us with shaking cameras or retarded editing, we can see who is shooting at who and why, but nonetheless are taken by surprise now and again by the unexpected.
I’m not sure how the movie could have been massively improved, save for perhaps shortening it a bit. Good casting, writing and directing. See it.