Bat*21 (1988)


“Let’s get the basic relationship down… I’m the lifeguard, you’re the drowning man. If you relax, I can bring you to shore. If you fight me, then I’ll have to slap you around. ” – Captain Bartholomew Clark

Number of Times Seen – at least twice (Cable in the 80’s and 8 Mar 2017)

Brief Synopsis – Base on the true story of a high ranking US intelligence officer shot down over Vietnam who must be rescued quickly due to the secrets he holds.

My Take on it – I saw this film on cable years ago and didn’t really remember much about it over the years since I saw it.

I was drawn to rewatch it now mainly because I have always been a fan of the work of both Gene Hackman and Danny Glover.

Both actors are fine here, but the story itself isn’t played out interestingly enough despite the premise having some appeal.

The main problem here is that despite the fact that the story is based on real events, the characters just don’t seem genuine enough and some of their interactions feel a bit strained.

This film is presented as more of an action film than a drama and the reality is that it just wasn’t made in a way that would make it appealing enough for people to want to give it much of a glance let alone a second glance.

There are definitely much better Vietnam films based on true stories out there….

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that just doesn’t work well mostly because the characters aren’t as believable as one would expect.  Hackman and Glover are fine as always, but something is missing in the way that they interact.  They try to make this film seem more action packed than it is and unfortunately in the end, it just feel like anything special.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The true events surrounding this story were still classified at the time of production. Ltc Hambleton was rescued by Navy SEAL LT Tom Norris and Vietnamese SEAL Petty Officer Nguyen Van Kiet using a canoe to infiltrate to Hambleton’s position and rescue him. LT Norris was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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2 thoughts on “Bat*21 (1988)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1988 |

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