15 November 2004 | KingCoody
Realism and Symbolism on a tight budget
Steve McQueen's character of Reese is not the jock he played in the Great Escape nor is he Jake Thurlow a rule bender,but whose's found his home in the U.S.Navy of the 1920's. No Reese is a stone cold killer a front line ideal who gets in trouble because in the rear like probably in his civilian life there are too many rules issued by and for the protection of soft bellied fools. He has survived like Fess Parker's Sgt.Pike, a man who knows him and if not a friend in the service buddy/Beery/Gable manner of war movies,understands him. Pike knows that Reese though a leader is not a workaday type who will listen recommend and obey. Reese is a loner living on borrowed time. North Africa,Sicily,Italy maybe were where he campaigned with a dwindling amount of men he came in with still alive. A bullet or shell,or mine,or tank treads is waiting on the next wooded hill, or valley or village to end it for him. There is no Longest Day comrades in arms in a worthy cause emotion emanating from Reese and squad mates. There is no grander vision for them then earning a front line soldiers highest decoration - survival. The German bunker is the squatting beast of War waiting to feed and it does on the Mike Kellin character, the attacking company, Steve McQueen's now Ahab like Reese who must destroy the beast at the cost of his life, and the bunkers' anonymous defenders-inmates while the beast battered partially in flames still consumes GIs and Wehrmact landers indiscriminately. Rock solid war film.