looking back at this movie now is like going back in time for us who lived in the 70's. Rolling Thunder is a bleak movie that was made in the mood of the time and looks even bleaker now. Thunder is a no nonsense movie with no humor. It has sadness, rage against things that are beyond human control, and no promises of a bighter future. Devane never was an action type actor. A very good actor but not one who looked like an action star. However for those you who are new to the 70's movies or were not born then, that is the point the director was trying to make. Devane was every GI who came back fron Nam to a "hero's welcome." The people cheered for a minute then stopped and left you alone. People didn't understand what the war did to person. The movie shows in muted colors that no one comes home the same as they were as they left. It is sad that this movie,in hind sight, shows how love ones stopped loving and ran from the returning GIs. This is the saddest part of the movie, especially having know many who had this happen to them. The hand in the sink scene has not lost any of its grumsome violent effect on the viewer. You don't see it but you feel it. If you can detach yourself from the movie, watch Devane's change back to warrior as he prepares to go to "battle." It is cold and chilling but not flashy. I can not say enough about Tommy Lee Jones in this small part in this movie. He has the very same problem that Devane's character has and has felt what Devane has felt, yet his charcter is not a copy of Devane. The viewer is treated to two actors working together as one to create a mood and to honestly gilve dignity to two characters that could have been protrayed as psychos. That is the strongest part about this movie, the characters have honor, dignity, and are show in an honest light. They are not pure nor are they flawless. The viewer cares about them but doesn't want to be them. The action scene in the Mexico is was brutal when I first saw it back then, now is still seems realistic and brutal today. There are very few low tech special effects. The director does not want you to cheer for the two GIs, no this is not a glory moment nor a "redemtion moment." This is just two men doing what they know because they don't know how to do anything else. There is no happy ending, no getting the girl, no clearing away old ghost, chance of normal future, no nothing but livng the next day and not knowing what will happen next.