The Bobby Garwood Story
Who is Bobby Garwood? That was the question on my lips as I sat down to watch "The Last P.O.W.: The Bobby Garwood Story" as I had never heard the name before. As it turns out he was cited as the last verified American prisoner of war from the Vietnam War who was reportedly released in 1973 but didn't return to the States until 1979 and since then has been accused of collaborating with the enemy and faced court martial. So this is his story and Garwood was a consultant on the movie, telling his version of events starting with his capture in September 1965.
Now in truth I have no real interest in whether or not Garwood's version of events is the truth or not, my interest in watching "The Last P.O.W.: The Bobby Garwood Story" is whether or not it managed to entertain me and unfortunately it didn't. Now in fairness I didn't actually expect it to entertain me because when I learnt this was a movie about a controversial former prisoner of war I sensed it would be for those who already knew his story and were interested in his case rather than those who watch out of curiosity. Although I do wonder how much those who know the Garwood story would be impressed by this dramatization.
Whilst the actual dramatization of the story did little for me as it explained certain things from Garwood's view point the casting also didn't do it for me especially when it comes to Ralph Macchio as Garland. Now as the plucky Danny in the "Karate Kid" movies Macchio was fine, their was that boyish appeal but here he just doesn't convince as a prisoner of war, failing to physically convey the effects of war whilst also coming up short when it comes to character depth.
What this all boils down to is that "The Last P.O.W.: The Bobby Garwood Story" might work for those with some sort of interest in Garwood's story but struggles for those who stumble across it and watch out of curiosity with many issues but mostly the acting of Ralph Macchio dragging it down.