We Were Soldiers (2002) starring Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliott, Chris Klein, Keri Russell, Barry Pepper directed by Randall Wallace Movie Review

We Were Soldiers (2002)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers (2002)

I Was Not Sure

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) and Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley (Sam Elliott) have been assigned to train a group of inexperienced troops in a new way of fighting using choppers to dart into remote locations. Once trained Moore leads the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US 1st "Air" Cavalry Division into what would become The Valley of Death in Vietnam where they find themselves severely outnumbered by Vietnamese troops hiding out in the mountains.

I am going to say right off the mark this is a review of "We Were Soldiers" from an outsider's point of view, a Brit who was only born at the start of the 70s and this review is going to be short.

Right the positives to "We Were Soldiers", well it has an extremely good cast which manage to add something when the movie takes a break to allow them to deliver characters. And it recreates the chaos of war, that sense of being unprepared as they drop down and find them in the midst of heavy crossfire before they have chance to collect their thoughts. I would imagine that those who saw warfare might be moved and impressed by this reconstruction whilst for those like me may find the chaos hard to get use to and there is chaos in a lot of the movie.

But then there is the negative and between hoo-haa dialogue and over indulgent use of slow motion from bullets cascading from a machine gun to a soldiers face burning up from sulphur in an explosion it is simply over used. The knock on effect of this is that makes it cheesy in a jingoistic manner especially when the slow motion is also used for non important stuff such as a foot landing in the grass as it jumps from a chopper. And as for the scenes featuring the soldiers wives, I couldn't stop cringing at it all especially during the build up.

That though is it and I had really hoped "We Were Soldiers" was going to impress me but in the end for everything which approached being good there would be more things which only made it seem OTT in the patriotism stakes.

What this all boils down to is that I am sure "We Were Soldiers" worked for some audiences and resonated strongly but for those on the outside it comes across as forced, over doing many things and ending up too jingoistic.