05 January 2012

Film Review: Windtalkers, by John Woo, **

US Marine Nicolas Cage--with a scarred ear and a fed-up look--is given the job of looking after Navajo Adam Beach, whose complex language is the basis of a code being used to fool the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II. His orders are to protect not Beach but the code, (including orders to kill Beach if it looks like capture is imminent) which makes for an uneasy progress from hatred-at-first-sight through growing respect to agonised male bonding.

This movie is a disappointment. Cage does his part pretty well, but most others seem unnatural characters, it all seems a bit too fake.  Too many episodes are beyond the limits of credibility. CGI (computer generated imagery) is pretty ridiculous, worse than a first generation videogame, it would have been acceptable in the 1980s but not twenty years later.

The merit of the film, nonetheless, is to have publicised a little known aspect of the Pacific War, and it is a tribute to the valor of the Navajo.

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