22 Dec 2009

Rescue Dawn

The story of Dieter Dengler has been a source of inspiration to celebrated German film director Werner Herzog for some time. Dengler, a naturalised American from Germany, was a United States Navy pilot during the Vietnam War who was shot down on a secret mission over Laos and held captive in a PoW camp from which he escaped.
First featured in Herzog's documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, it now forms the plot of Herzog's latest feature film, Rescue Dawn, with Batman himself, Christian Bale, taking the role of Dengler.

Dengler's is a moving story, part-buddy film as he plots with his fellow captives to break free from the hellish prison into which they have been thrust. In the prison sequences, the film begins to take on the spirit of the much-loved The Shawshank Redemption, as the audience warms to the group of co-conspirators.

 Once Dengler has escaped, the film takes a more nightmarish turn as he and friend Duane (SteveZahn) brave the harshness of the Laotian landscape to try and find a way home. Bale, no stranger to suffering for his art following his masochistic performance in The Machinist, stretches himself to equally jaw-dropping extremes throughout this movie whilst still capturing the
sheer charisma of Dengler.

 The eye for landscape and detail which runs through all Herzog's film is clearly on display but it
is mirrored to a gripping plot which makes Rescue Dawn unmissable.

Release Date: 7th April 2008:
Director: Werner Herzog
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies
Running Time: 126 mins
Certificate: 12A


Alistair Kleebauer

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