Never saw this film when it was released originally in 1988. Not knowing what to expect, we decided to take a chance watching it on cable when it was shown the other night; it was a complete surprise. Director Peter Markle, working with a magnificent cast, headed by Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, does wonders to recreate this story of valor under the worst possible circumstances. The cinematography is excellent. The film relies on visual effects, that are not to be confused with the incredible special effects that we have seen in other movies. Yes, of course, we all know that they are special, but the movie relies in the interplay between the missing Col. Hambleton on the ground and Capt. "Bird Dog" Clark who had the courage to stay focused, first in his plane, and later in the helicopter as he searches for this man, who he didn't even know. It's a tribute that these two military men in caring for one another in a difficult situation. Gene Hackman is an actor that always project convincing character. His take on the colonel is the real thing. Danny Glover, on the other hand, is on target. He demonstrates he has what it takes to hold it against big stars, like Mr. Hackman, or in his films with Mel Gibson. He is a joy to watch in his portrayal of a man who is an honest professional. For fans of action war movies, this is a more real approach to the genre thanks to the vision of its director Peter Markle.
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During the Vietnam War, Colonel Hambleton's aircraft is shot down over enemy territory and a frantic rescue operation ensues.
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April 3, 2019