Published on June 9th, 2008 | by Chris0
Some Kind of Hero (1982)
On his first day out on patrol in Vietnam, Corporal Eddie Keller (Richard Pryor) is taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. From that point on, his luck only seems to get worse in 1982's Some Kind of Hero.
After a mind-numbing six years in prison, he's finally released once the war is over. But as his story, and that of so many others goes, he returns to find his world in shambles. His wife has moved on, his money is gone. Even the army seems poised to abandon him yet again as they learn of the "confession" he signed to save the life of his cell-mate back in 'Nam.
The only good thing that does happen is he runs into a Toni (Margot Kidder), a hooker with a soft-spot for hard-luck cases. Unfortunately, he seems hell-bent on getting himself into more and more trouble, as he turns to crime and eventually the mob....
Keller's story really is a common one among veterans. Not only has going to war, and especially living as a POW for so long changed him irreversibly, the world back home has changed as well. A different person returns to a much-different world, and things just don't work out. At all.
What else is unfortunate is that this film just can't seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be a comedy or a tragedy. Pryor is as always, pure genius, switching back and forth between his usual coarse comedic core and a man on the edge of total desperation. If it weren't for his performance I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. For some reason he's able to blend the comedy with the tragedy in a nearly seamless way.
But there are other problems here. I kept expecting at some point his former cell-mate Vinny (Ray Sharkey) to turn up and somehow save the day as payback for Keller saving his life. But as reality goes I guess it makes sense. The only reference we have to him is as Keller's imaginary accomplice in his bumbling crime career.
Some Kind of Hero turns out to be a thoughtful look at the trials that our guys coming back from Vietnam faced, and I'm sure it strikes a familiar chord with a lot of them. The end result isn't all bad, but really could have been a lot better. It just turns from thoughtful, to funny, from war movie to crime comedy at the drop of a hat and back again one too many times.
Some Kind of Hero
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Corporal Eddie Keller just spent six years as a prisoner of war. Now he's coming home. Richard Pryor wowed audiences with his moving portrayal of the former POW who tries to return back to the normal life he remembered before the war...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Legend Films
Original Release Date:
- Richard Pryor
- Margot Kidder
Summary: Some Kind of Hero turns out to be a thoughtful look at the trials that our guys coming back from Vietnam faced, and I'm sure it strikes a familiar chord with a lot of them. The end result isn't all bad, but really could have been a lot better. It just turns from thoughtful, to funny, from war movie to crime comedy at the drop of a hat and back again one too many times.