By Debbie Elicksen.
Rescue Dawn (2006) is based on the true account of Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a U.S. fighter pilot who becomes a prisoner of war after getting shot down over Laos during his first secret mission during the Vietnam War. He was the only American prisoner of war to escape from a camp in the seclusion of a Laotian jungle.
In the POW camp, an arrogant Dengler meets up with five forgotten prisoners who had been there for a long time. He convinces the others to plan an escape when weather brings rain so they can survive the jungle.
It’s a harrowing tale, where prisoners endure ruthlessness, starvation, and abuse in order to render them hopeless. Dengler refused to buy in and his presence in the camp ignites a sense of reluctant hope for the other prisoners.
Christian Bale is terrific and the screenplay is compelling. Rescue Dawn was written and directed by Werner Herzog.
This movie ranks three stars out of five.