The Great Raid
During the World War II occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese, more than 500 American prisoners of war are held in brutal conditions at the Cabanatuan POW camp. Malnourished and deprived of basic necessities, the POWs remain alive with the help of members of the underground who smuggle them medicine. Though the camp is deep in enemy territory, difficult to penetrate and has no strategic advantage, news of the Japanese intention to execute the prisoners demands a rescue mission. Under the command of Lt. Col. Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt), and with a daring rescue strategy developed by Capt. Prince (James Franco), the 6th Ranger Battalion cuts off key reinforcement and supply routes and then carefully moves into position around the unsuspecting Japanese forces at the camp. In a burst of gunfire, with superb military precision, the Rangers begin the great raid to liberate the POWs in this action thriller.
This film was very well done. The story was well written, acting was superb, and the fight scenes very realistic and not exaggerated. Although a comparison probably isn’t fair, but the movie had a similar feel to “Saving Private Ryan”, although this film was based on actual events. Not only was I entertained by this movie, but I also received an excellent history lesson. I don’t think many people realize what those soldiers went through as POW’s.
Because this film is based on an extraction mission, and much time is spent in the concentration camps, it is much too violent for Dove’s standards. This is too bad, though, because if it were approved, it would be a superb tool for the classroom. I was impressed, however, that the language wasn’t worse than it was. It seems that in these “war” movies, much cursing is used to make the soldiers appear tougher. Hopefully this movie will be shown on TV in an edited version, and when it is, I recommend reserving that night for this film.