Saturday, April 25, 2009

RESCUE DAWN

by Tobias

> view trailer

I think this is Werner Herzog's best film since LESSONS OF DARKNESS (1992).

Let me get this off my chest, I LOVE Werner Herzog's documentary LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY, also concerning this story of Dieter Dengler's time spent in a POW camp during Vietnam - so going into this film I was worried it could never really excite me since I assumed I knew literally everything that was going to happen to him. I had already witnessed the charismatic and eccentric real-life Dengler reenacting his horrific experiences with the boyish enthusiasm only he could do it with. I figured, at best, I would be mildly entertained with the new project, but it just rubbed me as obnoxiously commercial and strange for Herzog to take it on again. I was WAY off in my assumptions, and I totally underestimated Herzog, the mad poet of cinema. It truly says something great about a filmmaker when their work can have this kind of visceral and psychological effect on a viewer who already knows of the events that transpired in the camp. I'm still baffled that it was such a nail biter for me since I already knew the outcome.

Christian Bale, Jeremy Davies, and Steve Zahn all deserve the highest praise for their performances in this. The ensemble acting is quite amazing. I think Bale's work here is the second best lead performance of 2007 after Day Lewis in THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

RESCUE DAWN hypnotically transcends its brilliant source documentary and leaves a profound feeling of optimism in me. It's yet another cinematic triumph depicting obsessive men existentially engulfed in jungle that can be added to Herzog's intimidating filmography.

1 comment:

  1. (Herzog voice)

    Shout. Shout. Let it all out. This is a list of the things that I could do without:

    Number one: Bears

    Number two: Klaus Kinski

    Number three: The Berenstain Bears

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