13 November 2011 | dougdoepke
Korea, 1952, a UN patrol and a woman are trapped behind red Chinese lines.
Unfortunately, this war film comes close to being truly dreary with about every cliché in the book. Had director Jones registered some troubled emotion from a generally talented cast, it would have helped. Instead, Conte and company act as if being trapped in combat is little more than a walk in the park. And what could be more absurd than those wooden romantic scenes in the middle of life and death.
Then too, the script registers some genuinely leaden dialog, along with limp action staging that has all the combat intensity of a round of hide and seek. Good thing for our side that the Chinese bunch up across open terrain so that a couple of bullets can mow 'em all down.
I get no satisfaction from belaboring these results since I recall when the movie was shot south of Colorado Springs and we high school boys were thrilled at seeing a movie star like the lovely Castle. (Look quickly and you can see Cheyenne Mountain where air tracking defenses for North America are now located underground.)
Still, the movie does have one stunning sequence where a squadron of Lockheed jets swoops really low over uneven terrain to drop their napalm. It's a breath-taking air show. Nonetheless, I expect the movie's most memorable feature are the up-and-comers in the supporting cast—Bronson, Connors, and future TV mogul Aaron Spelling. All in all, however, it's an unfortunately forgettable 90-minutes of people managing to go through the motions.