Rescue Dawn

Rated NR

While I worship director Werner Herzog like he’s some kind of god (and not the namby-pamby “God” that most Americans worship, but a real, potent, Teutonic god who shoots thunderbolts from his magic hammer), I was disappointed in his latest film. Rescue Dawn is, by Hollywood standards, an excellent movie. Telling the story of Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a U.S. bomber pilot who was shot down and captured in the early days of the Vietnam War, this film has got plenty of action and suspense. It’s also got typical, over-the-top Hollywood acting from Bale—who overdoes Dengler’s odd mannerisms and accent—and Jeremy Davies, who plays a fellow prisoner of war. But mostly, it has none of the odd verve and obsessive inventiveness of Herzog’s other films. If you want to see a very well-done movie about war and survival, Rescue Dawn fits the bill. If you want to see a Werner Herzog movie, I’d suggest renting Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

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