2000s The Great Raid (2005)

Published on April 5th, 2007 | by Chris

1

The Great Raid (2005)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On April 5, 2007
Last modified:October 4, 2012

Summary:

Based on the true events surrounding the real "Great Raid", it just doesn't pack much punch at all. The whole "love story" bit just ruined it for me.

The Great Raid (2005)The Great Raid focuses on the 1945 rescue mission mounted by the Rangers against the Japanese prison camp at Cabanatuan in the Philippines. It was an ambitious mission, to be sure, and it had to be done to keep the Japanese from burning their prisoners alive, as they'd taken to doing in some of the other camps, rather than release or move the prisoners.

However this movie just falls flat, plain and simple. The first three-quarters leaves you wondering when anything at all is going to happen. There's a lot of talk. And more talk. And some more waffling and talking.

And then they have to go wrap some silly love story into the mix. The whole side story (which seems to eclipse the main premise for most of the film) is about an American nurse named Margaret, who is helping the Philippine resistance, and her estranged lover who is a prisoner at Cabanatuan. And in the end this particular story comes to naught, and really seems irrelevant.

The movie really shows just how nasty and ruthless the Japanese could be, and parts of it will leave you cringing, especially the "10-for-1" retribution scene.

However, at the end, we finally get a bit of action as the raid on the camp commences. But even this is not *that* exciting, or interesting for that matter, and devolves into a few cliche moments. It does however pay some much-needed homage to the role of the Philippine resistance fighters, and their civilian counterparts in the rest of the film.

Based on the true events surrounding the real "Great Raid", it just doesn't pack much punch at all. The whole "love story" bit just ruined it for me.

The Great Raid (Widescreen Director's Cut) The Great Raid (Widescreen Director's Cut)
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Description

Following in the tradition of such great World War II films as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Patton", "The Great Raid" tells the true story of an American rescue mission that took place over five days in January, 1945...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand:
Manufacturer: Miramax Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Benjamin Bratt
  • Joseph Fiennes
  • James Franco
  • Robert Mammone
  • Max Martini

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left Behind, But Never Forgotten, January 17, 2006
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This review is from: The Great Raid (Widescreen Director's Cut) (DVD)
Following in the tradition of such great World War II films as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Patton", "The Great Raid" tells the true story of an American rescue mission that took place over five days in January, 1945. Cabanatuan prison was located some thirty miles behind Japanese lines. Inside its walls were over 500 American prisoners. Many were survivors of the Bataan death march. These men had been improsoned for over three years. Many began to feel that their country had left them behind.

By late 1944, the Americans had returned to the Philippines. After learning about the existance of Cabanatuan, the Americans devised a plan to send an elite group of Army Rangers in to resue the POWs. Lt. Col. Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt), commander of the 6th Ranger Batallion, was given the assignment of developing the mission. Captain Robert Prince (James Franco) was placed in charge of planning and actually carrying out the raid. The Rangers would have to travel thirty miles... Read more
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110 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best war movies of recent years, May 19, 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Great Raid is one of the best war movies I've seen in several years, and it makes me downright mad to learn of this film's long-neglected, still overlooked history. It was filmed in 2002, then delayed for three full years thanks to a bunch of bureaucratic jabberwocky. When it finally saw the light of day in 2005, I didn't hear the first thing about it, which says a lot about the marketing behind it. Then, a number of professional critics cast aspersions upon it - all the usual suspects who prefer their own make-believe world where the worst sadists are merely misunderstood victims of a bad childhood and real history is just something to be distorted in pursuit of your own political agenda. The Great Raid is just far too true for these elitists, and - even worse - it shows that war, as horrible as it is, is sometimes a necessity in the face of outright evil. These guys can blanch and puff up all they like, but anyone who knows anything about World War II knows that the... Read more
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176 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Japanese were cruel monsters during WWII, August 14, 2005
The Great Raid is a fantastic World War II film. The fast paced action is based on the real life rescue of the American POWs at Capanatuan in the Philippines. Director John Dahl pulls no punches. He correctly depicts the allied forces as the good guys and the Japanese as generally nothing less than war criminals. This is indeed historically accurate and Dahl refuses to shy away from the truth merely to satisfy the politically correct leftist crowd. Lt. Colonel Mucci (Benjamin Bratt) and Captain Prince (James Franco) were ordered to devise a plan that could quickly free as many of the sickly and malnourished prisoners like Major Gibson (Joseph Fiennes) as possible. Time is short. The war is almost over and Emperor Hirohito's followers of Bushido prefer death to surrender. If they are going to die, so too will the POWs. The pitiless Japanese particularly enjoy burning prisoners alive. They were, during that time period, racists to the core and perceived non-Japanese as inferior... Read more
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The Great Raid (2005) Chris

Summary: Based on the true events surrounding the real "Great Raid", it just doesn't pack much punch at all. The whole "love story" bit just ruined it for me.

2.5


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to The Great Raid (2005)

  1. As is usually the case for a Memorial Day Weekend, several cable/satellite networks will be chock full of classic war movies this coming weekend. Namely Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel, and AMC. I’m sure there are many more but these are “The B

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