Bat 21 (VHS, 2000)

5 ratings (5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
5 stars
1
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

OK telling of a true story

Jan 10, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Based on a true story.

Cons:Never totally enthralled into the situation at hand.

The Bottom Line: For fans of war films or those who like reality based movies.


I remember when Bat 21 first hit the big screen in 1988. After loving the previous Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Hamburger Hill, I was greatly anticipating this particular film. Unfortunately, the film never reached my expectations, but that is not to say that it is a bad picture. On the contrary, it is a decent, watchable film with a few memorable moments. However, it never really hits the mark like you feel it should.

Bat 21 is the telling of the actual events of Iceal Hambleton, a Lt. Col. who was shot down over occupied territory in Vietnam. The Lt. Col. was the lone survivor of the crash and finds himself running and hiding for his life after realizing he is smack dab in the middle of NVA military activity. Hambleton is an essential part of the military due to his extensive knowledge of missile weaponry and therefore is not considered expendable by any means.

Searching for Hambleton is Captain Bartholomew Clark, a pilot known for having no fear. His countless runs into NVA territory to make contact with Hambleton are doubly dangerous because the NVA can hear everything being said over the radio. Hambleton comes up with a code that Clark must break in order for the rescue team to be able to rendevous with the lost Colonel. Along the way the Colonel discovers more important military information that he relays to Clark until eventually a rescue attempt is made.

This entire movie is a two character piece. The first of course is Lt. Col. Hambleton who is played by Gene Hackman. The role of Captain Clark is played by Danny Glover. Now first off, their interaction with each other is believable from the start and you can understand why Clark keeps subjecting himself to danger just to keep an "eye" on the Colonel. Both actors play off of each other and it hits the mark. Where I feel there is something missing is with Hambleton's reactions to the situation he was in. Think about this for just a minute. You are stuck in a foreign country, surrounded by hundreds of enemy soldiers all packing machine guns and grenades, and you are left alone with nothing but a handgun and a radio. I don't know about you but I would be looking for a new pair of underwear. In Bat 21, you never get the feeling that the Colonel is that frightened of his situation. Maybe it's because Hackman is such a cool, calm actor who can be fearless when he needs to be. Maybe he's a victim of his own talent in this particular case. Nonetheless, you never really feel the horror that the Colonel was really going through.

Danny Glover playing the captain does a more than credible job. You can sense his loyalty to his fallen comrade, even when you might not be sure why he is risking so much of himself for someone he never met. All around well done job by Glover. The rest of the cast of minor parts at best, with one having the most memorable scene of the movie. I don't want to ruin it for anyone but it simply is the one scene that shows just how horrible this war was. An exchange between Hackman and a young Vietnamese child also will catch your eye, although not quite as much as the aforementioned scene.

Overall, a decent movie with credible acting, just nothing spectacular. Surprisingly little gore for a movie about Vietnam. Not so much about the mass hysteria of war as one man's encounter. Certainly on a more personal level than most other war films in terms of its characters. 3 out of 5 stars.


Recommend this product? Yes


Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Cheetah (vhs, 2002)

Cheetah (vhs, 2002)

Darkwing Duck and Chip 'n' Dale in a spooky double feature: 1. Ghoul of My Dreams and 2. Good Times, Bat Times.
eBay

$5.95

FREE Shipping
Going Places: Bali [vhs] [vhs Tape] (2000) Going Places

Going Places: Bali [vhs] [vhs Tape] (2000) Going Places

The popular PBS television series travels to Bali, a tropical Indonesian paradise. You'll visit a temple guarded by thousands of bats, watch a religio...
eBay

$7.04

+$2.95 shipping
Sealed Vhs Video Bartok The Magnificent Nip Clamshell Anastasia

Sealed Vhs Video Bartok The Magnificent Nip Clamshell Anastasia

Bartok, the lovable albino bat from Don Bluth and Gary Goldman's ANASTASIA, returns in BARTOK THE MAGNIFICENT, his own animated musical adventure. Pro...
eBay

$8.99

FREE Shipping
Wild America (vhs, 1997) Unopened White Clam Shell

Wild America (vhs, 1997) Unopened White Clam Shell

A dramatization of the Stouffer brothers' first forays into the world of nature cinematography. In 1967, three brothers set off on a journey to captur...
eBay
Batman Beyond The Movie Vhs Video Dc Comics

Batman Beyond The Movie Vhs Video Dc Comics

As a whole new horde of outrageous outlaws is on the rampage, the unthinkable has happened: the aging Bruce Wayne has hung up the cape of the once-inv...
eBay

$15.50

+$3.00 shipping
Larryboy And The Angry Eyebrows (vhs, 2002)

Larryboy And The Angry Eyebrows (vhs, 2002)

Awful Alvin enacts a plague of bat-like eyebrows upon the town of Bumblyburg. This causes the custodial cucumber Larry to transform into Larryboy, the...
eBay

$7.00

+$2.48 shipping
1647 Vhs 1987 World Series - Minnesota Twins Vs St Louis Cardinals

1647 Vhs 1987 World Series - Minnesota Twins Vs St Louis Cardinals

Led by the bats of Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, the Minnesota Twins prevailed over the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games, winning all four home games an...
eBay

$9.98

+$2.90 shipping
The Natural: Robert Redford Baseball Classic (vhs) Factory Sealed / Brand

The Natural: Robert Redford Baseball Classic (vhs) Factory Sealed / Brand

Farm boy Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is the best baseball player anyone has ever seen. His bat, handmade from the wood of a tree felled by lightning fo...
eBay
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (vhs, 1997, Wb Hits)

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (vhs, 1997, Wb Hits)

Carrey's certifiable but cool alter ego, Ace Ventura, continues his pet sleuthing in the wilds of Africa as he tries to avert a tribal war by locating...
eBay

$8.55

+$3.00 shipping
Fmw Wrestling - Total Carnage (vhs, 2001) Uncensored Version -

Fmw Wrestling - Total Carnage (vhs, 2001) Uncensored Version -

FMW, Japan's extreme wrestling league, has become a pop culture phenomenon on the order of the WWF in Japan. In the FMW, the rules are thrown out the...
eBay

$8.99

FREE Shipping