Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News


Hey folks, Harry here with a look by the Unnamed One of John Woo's WINDTALKERS, a film that I think all of us Woo-fans wait in hushed anticipation for. It's nice to have Woo doing a film that isn't modern day/futuro world. It's nice to see him doing period. And war.... oh, Woo should do a really good job.

Though I've enjoyed your site immensely in the past, I've never contributed anything in the past because I‚ve never had anything to contribute. However, this week I saw a Test Screening (that's probably not what you call it in the business) of the upcoming John Woo & Nicolas Cage film Windtalkers. I felt obligated to send in my $.02 on the flick in return for all of the great stuff your site has given me in the past.

OK, now that I've finished kissing your ass, here's the scoop:

I saw Windtalkers, the upcoming film from John Woo. It stars Nicolas Cage as a Marine Corporal in the Pacific Theater in 1944. During a recent mission, all of the command echelon above him was killed, leaving him in command. His last order had been to hold position, so he did. However in the process, the Japanese killed everyone else in his company, and severly wounded him. He makes it to a hospital in Hawaii (we're not told how), and he meets up with a nurse who seems intent not only on getting him physically back in shape, but she also seems to be throwing herself at him in some sort of weird Positive Reinforcement therapy. Cage is promoted to Seargant and given the assignment of guarding one of the Navy's new code-talkers -- Navajo Indians who can quickly encode and decode in the navy's new code, because it's based on the Navajo language. The catch is that he's not really there to protect the code talker so much as the code itself -- i.e. Death Before Capture.

The movie has the standard themes of racisim within the US military, acceptance of outsiders, and a soldier with a death wish (Cage).

There wasn't really any new cinematic ground covered in the film, and with the glut of recent WWII movies lately (BTW, WHAT is up with that?) it would be easy to overlook this one. However I think that would be a mistake. I'm not normally a big Woo fan, mainly because his protrayal of action sequences is more likely to make the laugh than be impressed. However, in this file I think he has turned a bit of a corner. It's unflinching and fast paced (typical for Woo), but it's also sensitive and searching (not typical for Woo). I really liked the film, I was very interested in the characters, I could follow the plot (and it actually made sense!), and the battle sequences were SENSATIONAL!

Having some Native American ancestry myself, I was very pleased with the protrayal of the Navajo. They had traditional values and they did live on the "rez" but they weren't Tonto; the spoke English at least as well as the other Marines, they had a sense of humor, and they knew about the world "outside" of the rservation.







OK, not sure what your person policy is on Spoilers, so I hope that left enought warning.

The ending was the best part. I was deathly afraid they'd do a Private Ryan ripoff, or even worse -- something like Pearl Harbor.

Who knows if they'll keep that ending. I liked it, but then I'm a bit twisted sometimes.

The marketing research company wouldn't tell us what film we were seeing, only that it was an "epic adventure" being released this fall. So, I had no preconcieved notions of the film. I has seen posters, but that was it, so it was very cool to see a film and have NO CLUE ehat was going to happen (God, sometimes I have commercials and previews).

Well, if you can make sure of this great. If not, at least I can feel like I gave something back. A bit catharctic I suppose but it makes me feel better, and that's what life's all about, no? :)


Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus