The Vietnam war was terrible and controversial to the core. However, many sacrifices were made in that war, and in this film, we see a group of stranded, outmanned, and outgunned Americans fight for their life in North Vietnam. Commanded by Lt. Col. Hal Moore, they fight for their survival while waiting for backup. If it doesn’t arrive soon, then not one of them will be getting back home.
Things I Liked
This movie is filled with great examples of sacrifice, leadership, and commitment to other soldiers. Hal leads by example, telling his men he will be the first to step foot in, and last to leave the war zone. Bravery and courage is seen by all, including even a Photojournalist who came along to record the true horrors of war.
Back at home, we see the wives and women come together and support one another in times of celebration and ultimate loss.
Things I Didn’t Like
Obviously, a movie like this will have immense amounts of violence. While never glorified, it is agonizingly ridiculous the amount of gore and bloody deaths which are shown. Shots to the every part of the human body are seen. Limbs and heads are blown off. Napalm destroys a man’s face. Blood sprays from every direction in fights. A helicopter mows down dozens of soldiers with a machine gun. Men are burned to death, and worse still, some survive the burns with terrible disfiguring. Knifes and bayonets are used to kill men as well. There is more to be sure, but the violence is one and the same all through this movie.
The F- word is used four times, with about a dozen S- words. God’s name is used in vain about 15 times. Mild for a war film, but still unenjoyable nonetheless.
Something crude, but not necessarily bad in terms of morality, is several men urinate on a overheated mortar gun to cool it off.
I can’t promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear, before you and before Almighty God, that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together. So help me, God.
~Lt. Col. Hal Moore~
As yet another war movie worthy of appreciation yet also harrowing to watch.”We Were Soldiers” puts a bit more focus on the emotional side of war than other films past seen like “Saving Private Ryan” or “Act of Valor”. You feel the loss a bit more, and you gain understanding that the other side of the line. The “enemies” had terrible loss of life too. And that it was truly life.
If anything is to be gained watching this film apart from what you can gain watching other war films, it is seeing the war from both sides. Seeing how the vietnamese were people too. With families, feelings, and souls- all lost in the bloody and controversial conflict which engulfed Vietnam. We also see a unique perspective from the homefront, where wives and mothers came together and supported the other in terrible times of loss.
As with all movies of this nature, the violence is reviling and unapologetically graphic, it is sickening to the core. They say though, that those who forget history are bound to repeat it. Movies like these help us remember not only how terrible war is physically, but morseo how it tears humanity apart emotionally. This movie painfully helps us to remember this now, and for years to come.