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July 13, 2003

We Were Soldiers

We watched a recording of We Were Soldiers. The movie stars Mel Gibson as the leader of an experimental army unit that is sent to Vietnam very early in the conflict. I thought that it was an excellent, but very unflinching in showing the violence of ground combat.

Inevitably, war movies give you more back-story about the soldiers on one side than the other. As a result one is drawn to hope for the success of the soldiers on that side of the fight. This movie is no exception.

This movie does, however, bring up the question of what is the true cost of the success of the protagonists. The story focuses on a battle in which the North Vietnamese Army lured the American unit into an ambush of sorts. Several of the Americans did see the battle coming. Despite long odds, the Americans prevail while suffering a large number of casualties. The irony of the situation is that a total catastrophe for the American troops might have made American political leaders reconsider the depth of American involvement long before Vietnam became a national issue.

The movie also has some gut wrenching scenes of the families left behind. I thought this was a tough but very good movie. On my scale of 1-100, I rate it an 86.

For a complete list of my ratings go to Mike's Movie Ratings .

Posted by tmichael at July 13, 2003 04:21 PM