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There were many things wrong with the American soldiers' uniforms and gear(name tapes of a type I've never seen, 30 round M16 mags when the only issued were 20 round mags, incorrect web gear, incorrect rucksacks, incorrect rank, the list goes on). The VC seemed to be carrying chinese AK's chambered in 5.56(judging by the magazine shape(which is very wrong, it would have been 7x39 AK's) and generally they didn't wear helmets. I don't think the film maker understood the distinction between VC and NVA.
Then comes the fighting. That the Americans keep sending soldiers in the tunnel few by few until they're all dead makes no sense. Neither does the fact that the soldiers at the tunnel entrence pulled no outward security(instead sat smoking cigarettes and talking). I doubt very much that I'd want to jump into a VC tunnel rather than fight it out above ground. The fight at the patrol base was the most ridiculous part. The base seemed to be a random collection of tents scattered in the middle of the jungle in a horrendously undefensible arrangement. Then when the attack came the Americans basically ran around and flailed their arms while the VC massacred them. I also liked that the lueitenant(who was way to old to be that rank) called in an airstrike that didn't start dropping bombs until later that night(it would probably happen within 10-15 minutes).Read more ›
The major tunnel systems began in Cambodia and Laos; the networks extended for 100's of kilometers and you certainly didn't crawl the entire distance. Some systems were so well developed there were roads complete with mechanical workshops, hospitals, barracks and substantial warehouses. While there were limited numbers of small "neighborhood" tunnel systems as depicted in this movie the majority were similar to those shown in the movie We Were Soldiers.
This movie sucked!!!
Tunnel systems apparently began in Viet Nam in the 1940's, and became more sophisticated, after the Americans arrived and the conflict intensified. The complex tunnels at Cu Chi, were used by the Viet Cong as places of refuge, and also by the civilian populace, as places to live. Following circuitous routes, tunnels systems could be very complicated, and were often booby trapped. Large caverns where people could stand upright were also constructed. Usually deep below the surface, these spaces served as living areas, medical treatment areas, and even schools. 1968 Tunnel Rats features some of these aspects, but really provides just a tip of an iceberg's view, of how elaborate some of these systems really were.
The bulk of the action takes place during a single day, as a squad of tunnel rats is deployed from their jungle basecamp, and finds a tunnel opening while on patrol. The squad proceeds to investigate, and very shortly encounters a strong enemy presence, when a soldier is graphically skewered with a bamboo pole. After being attacked by the enemy, what remains of the squad takes refuge in the tunnels.Read more ›
As far as the film goes, there was an earnest attempt at recreating the tunnels, jungle isolation and military equipment. The tedious amount of character discussion leading up to the tunnel infiltration can be a killer (32 minutes of it before the first lid is popped), then you have to stomach over 48 minutes of crawling, digging, repetitively bad writing and a non-existent command structure. There are several outdoor battle scenes quite reminiscent of Predator in the amount of M-60s being swung around one-handed, with believability made even more absent as soldiers stand by as they are blown up by their own planes (for a couple minutes mind you - I figure they should have run after the 1st bomb, or maybe the 20th, but anyway...).
The special features contain some nice tidbits for Uwe fans. There is a 14 minute interview of Uwe stating his reasons why the US lost the war in Vietnam and why the film exists. A 10 minute making-of details the thinking and locations of this film (the tunnels were actually all on a stage - not in the jungle as stated by another reviewer here). The best material comes in the form of Uwe and the other actors admitting there was no script - they all wrote their own parts and winged the whole thing. 6 minutes of rightfully deleted scenes rounds out the last feature.
A couple more things - Uwe states that the soldiers are "responsible for the war" and on more than one occasion stands by his questionable feeling that the main reason the US lost the war was because of the tunnels only...hmmm.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good Vietnam Era Movie. Too Bad for the Grunts who got chosen to be "Tunnel Rats"Published 5 months ago by David A. Bird
Intense Movie. Will keep you on the edge of your seat. Really highlights the Brutality and horror of this conflict.Published 7 months ago by Anonymous
Bought it for a friend that was a Tunnel Rat in Nam. He'll love it!Published 15 months ago by Darrell