Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

THE GREAT RAID (R) (2005)

Miramax

Official Site

Director: John Dahl

Producers: Marty Katz, Lawrence Bender

Written by: Carlo Bernard & Doug Miro

Cast: Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Connie Nielsen, Marton Csokas, Joseph Fiennes

Rating:


Saving Private Everyone would work better. The whole movie is about the POW camp at Cabanatuan. About 500 of our boys are in pure hell. Undernourished, overpunished, and generally up shit creek, these boys don’t have a bright future ahead of them. The prisoners, “led” by Major Gibson (Fiennes), have been receiving smuggled medicine to keep death at bay. The resistance that supplies them, headed by the lovely Margaret (Nielsen), is in grave danger. The Japs have been executing prisoners rather than letting Uncle Sam retrieve them, and the Army has landed and plans to own the Philippines within two weeks. The standard garrison at the Cabanatuan camp leave, and get replaced by the SS of the Japanese army. Preparations for extermination commence. On the American side, Lt. Colonel Mucci (Bratt) commands the unproven unit. He’s been training them hard since he got his boys, but never had the opportunity to prove their worth in battle. When he hears of the opportunity to rescue 500 POWs, he orders Capt. Prince (Franco) to plan a raid.

I have too many grievances with this movie to spell out in detail. To be sure, the Japanese Imperial Army had an earned reputation for callous brutality. They weren’t lying when they show the Japanese Imperial Army executing prisoners, civilians, and subversives. We could cite the Rape of Nanking if we ever want powerful evidence of their horrors. But this movie concentrated very carefully on it. I wonder why they just didn’t give everyone playing a Jap a set of horns with the uniform. There were absolutely no attempts to redeem humanity among anyone Japanese. Seeing as this movie was about the glory of our country and the evils of theirs, it’s no surprise that our own faults from that era (internment camps, anyone?) have been conveniently ignored. But I have no need for any sort of propaganda, privately produced or otherwise. It’s basically racist to portray every single person of a certain ethnicity as a bad guy. I shouldn’t have to be given a very skewed view of the glory days of America to have pride in my country, and I’m just insulted when someone tries to. So, this movie insulted me. It insults my personal mechanisms of moral judgment. Based on a true story, but seen through tunnel-vision.

To make things worse, I saw the cookie-cutter edges on this war movie. We learn the valuable lesson of trusting in your commander. He learns the valuable lesson of humility. We get our prep speeches. We see the fraternity between soldiers. It’s just like any other war movie, and if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. That’s not to say that every war movie is the same, but all the similar ones are. I expect more of my war movies than glory. Those days are over; war has been exposed for the exercise in insanity that it is. It’s a moral disaster, not so much a testing ground of a man’s character but instead a no-man’s land for nobility. This isn’t a war movie for my generation. Being stuck in the sequel to Vietnam, I want my war movies to be educational to reality rather than inspirational to fantasy. If you must see a war movie, don’t make it this one. If you like a sensible dose of patriotism, make it Saving Private Ryan, and if you like a healthy dose of thought, make it The Thin Red Line. Just avoid this one if you can.

—Duncan Wright

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.