Top critical review
Meat and Potatoes War Movie with Weak Production Values (But I'm a Big Lee Ermey Fan)
on January 31, 2016
The opening scenes of “The Siege of Firebase Gloria” is of the heroes, Wings Hauser as Cpl DiNardo and R. Lee Ermey as Master Sgt. Hafner, and their squad approaching a Vietnamese village. They soon find that the Viet Cong have murdered almost everyone in the village and mounted many of their heads on poles. It is quickly evident two things about the movie, that this is a bloody war movie shooting for realism and that the dramatic weight of the movie is to be mostly carried by Hauser and Ermey which is not really playing to their strengths. The movie tells the story of how the squad finds themselves stuck at a remove fire base on the eve of the Tet offensive in 1968 during the Viet Nam war. The movie has a lot of strong battle scenes and you see a lot of opportunities for heroism by the U.S. troops. Surprisingly, the movie gives an almost balanced perspective of the war, highlighting the key leaders of the Viet Cong forces and almost making them, at times, sympathetic. The movie seems to hit a lot of stereotypical components of most war movies and is burdened by some weak production values. The film budget is probably the primary reason that air support for the firebase consisted, at best, of three Huey’s. In addition, the war scenes, although violent and striving for realism, left logic behind at times. It seemed to me that about 400 U.S. troops were shot over the three main battle scenes, although the firebase couldn’t have held that many troops. You add all of these flaws and you get a pretty weak war movie but if you are looking for a movie about a Viet Nam firebase battle then you’ll most likely overlook most of these flaws and be pretty content with the film.