Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Aaron Eckhart, the big-name stars of this on-the-cheap Vietnam-war actioner, are positively on a soft quantity right here. They dwell it up above floor as, respectively, an elite tracker and a no-nonsense basic, whereas poor outdated Connor Paolo has to scurry round within the Củ Chi tunnel system for a lot of the working time. Hopefully his contract demanded entry to a chiropractor.
Paolo performs US military engineer Ackermann, despatched along with his fellow “building staff” into the netherworld to retrieve a stolen categorised binder containing the names of south Vietnamese operatives undercover within the north. He’s acquired two hours to dodge the punji stake traps and get the job completed – at which level, unknown to him, Eckhart’s expedient Gen Drummond is planning to blow the complete advanced and the delicate intel together with it. Up prime, Miller (Rhys Meyers) and different particular forces goons are patrolling the forest to ensure the “tunnel rats” don’t get any nasty surprises.
Ambush have to be happening in the course of the Vietcong annual picnic, as a result of Rhys Meyers – who imports the majority of the movie’s cool and ruefulness – has little to do aside from provide the “soulful veteran musings” ingredient on the listing of Nam cliches. Profanity-screaming superiors, wobbly greenhorn squad leaders, frazzled grunts getting into the ethical coronary heart of darkness; it’s a bit unhappy that director Mark Burman wanted two different writers to prove this perfunctorily dealt with heap of metal-fatigued tropes.
Burman’s course doesn’t assist issues both, flatly taking pictures the below-ground binder hunt in a manner that makes it appear to be the world’s longest episode of The Crystal Maze fairly than a hellishly claustrophobic expertise. The dearth of perspective is summed up in an ending that, regardless of Ackermann’s suspicion he and his crew have been designated expendable, lets the brass get away with inventory pieties: “Their blood is within the Earth. They are going to dwell for ever.” It’s each by the guide and dispiritingly obscure.