6 July 2002 | godwatcher
a bunch of talent, on 2002's answer to battlefield earth
John Woo, is one of the most prolific action directors around today.
Marc Ruffalo is an amazing actor who keeps getting cast in action movies, as a support, when he could carry a film on his own. Adam Beach, Native American actors, of talent are hard to find, so to cast anyone else would've been a shame, he's so much better than this drivel.
Frances O'connor is striking out left and right, may i remind you of "Beddazled" Brian Van Holt, after "Whipped" should be getting at least a few offers Nicolas Cage, seems to know how to pick movies not to watch, if he's not careful, he'll end up being another Kevin Costner, and everyone will wonder how "he keeps getting work" This movie, is sentimental drivel, i'm all about patriotism, i've always thought the story of the the navajo code talkers was cool, and i like to see native american representation, but this movie was awful, the first thing to pick apart would be the score, I think this film would've been ten times, no really ten times better, which would've made it viewable, and not a waste of my 2&1/2 HOURS, but no, every instrument stands out, so that you can't help but hear how forced the whole score is, and putting a super forced and artificial score, on top of a super forced and artificial script, where character development is a point of praise, kind of, but the film also lacks a narrative, a plot, it has a story, but theres nothing to tie it together, instead it's a series of scenes which move on for no real reason, other than they kill time basically, but no real narrative thread other than, Joe, likes Ben , everyone else learns to like ben, and kill japs,
The one part of the film that is a point of dramatic tension, the need to protect the code "at any costs", is so overplayed that it loses all efficacy. And then the action, okay, all this crap aside, my friends warned me, it was bad, but it's JOHN WOO, the name among names and he was just lost, he was trying to reincarnate the worst of pekinpah, he never took a chance with the film, the whole thing was so expected, and the comparison to saving private ryan, is ridiculous, Spielberg in the first twenty minutes of that movie, shows you the horrors of WWII, in a way that you never imagined, because he shows it to you without fear, he makes bold decisions, and more than anything else, the sound, and the camera work, are explicit, you're looking at this guy get shot in the head in a one shot, wide angle. The camera moves for a reason, time slows for a reason. the look of the film is okay, in my humble opinion, the film was over saturated, and would've benefited, from making a a distinct decision about what to do with the look, instead most of the film, looks safe.
All the talent in the film, is obviously taking it's cues from the money men, and the money men, don't know anything compared to woo, end of story