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danger close: the battle of long tan

DIRECTOR: kriv stenders (red dog)
starring: travis fimmel, luke bracey, daniel webber, and richard roxburgh

 

REVIEWER: jessy kerrigan - morley

In August 1966, in a Vietnamese rubber plantation called Long Tan, 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives against 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.

So full disclosure, I went into this movie knowing very little about it. I also had pretty much zero knowledge of the real-life battle the movie is based on. I’m not sure if knowing more would have changed my opinion on the film but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

South Vietnam, late afternoon on August 18, 1966 - for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his dispersed company of 108 young and mostly inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives, holding off an overwhelming enemy force of 2,500 battle hardened Main Force Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers. With their ammunition running out, their casualties mounting and the enemy massing for a final assault each man begins to search for his own answer - and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage. The Battle of Long Tan is one of the most savage and decisive engagements in ANZAC history, earning both the United States and South Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citations for gallantry along with many individual awards. 

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan really completely immerses you in the action and the reality that the soldiers must have faced. You share in their fear, their losses but you just as much relish in their victories. The musical score really added to the atmosphere and suspense and the visual effects were fantastic.

 

The film doesn’t have any ‘big’ actors or appear to have a large production budget but that doesn’t hold it back at all. It’s the most authentic war movie I’ve seen and it’s all about some our beloved ANZAC troops, if you’re a New Zealander or Australian I’d say it’s a must watch.

Filled with courage and comradeship, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is an ANZAC war film not to be missed.