Writer-director Wallace once again tackles the fact-based miltary epic, with outstanding results. Recounting the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in 1965, the first major land battle for U.S. troops in Vietnam, the story focuses on Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Gibson) and his leadership of the 7th Air Cavalry at LZ X-Ray. Moore's combination of experience, leadership, instinct, knowledge, and genuine concern for his men make him seem too good to be true, but Gibson's portrayal, and the fact that Moore is real, help to erase disbelief. Inevitable comparisons with "Black Hawk Down" are justified, as both pics deal with chaotic battlefields and the heroism of the soldiers who must fight their way out of situations they were trained, but not quite prepared, for. But this movie goes beyond the battle to show the impact to families back home, as well as giving a nod of respect to the enemy. Elliot stands out as Moore's right-hand man, as does Pepper as reporter Galloway, while Stein, Russell, and Kinnear do well playing against type. Based on the book "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young" by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 137 minutes.
Originally from United States.
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