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Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Film Review

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by May (subscribe)
Typical Gemini, with the concentration span of a gnat & not one for sitting still. My old Da used to say that "you're a long time dead". So my mantra is get busy living.Please join me for more at brizzymaysbooksandbruschettasite.wordpress.com
Published August 11th 2019
A story of mateship, larrikinism and courage
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is set in Vietnam in 1966. The 1st Australian Task Force headed by Brigadier David Jackson (Richard Roxburgh) is set up in Nui Dat where patrols are sent out into the local countryside. One night the camp is attacked by mortars and while the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery is able to target them, the 1st Field Regiment need to follow up the next day to find the source. Alpha Company doesn't find anything, so Harry Smith's (Travis Fimmel) Delta Company is sent out to chase them down while a rock show - with Little Pattie and Col Joye and the Joy Boys- is happening back at camp and with monsoonal rain forecast.

All goes well until at the rubber plantation at Long Tan the 11th Platoon of D Company comes under heavy fire and it is soon discovered that this is not just a raiding party but a full battalion of the North Vietnamese Army. 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers fight for their lives against 2000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.

Courtesy of wikipedia


My initial qualms were about how this would stack up against the big money American movies. And you know what? There was plenty of blood and guts, though the point that war is ugly was made without the focus on missing body parts. Bravo.

The Battle is also told through the eyes of Harry Smith and the other leaders on the ground which means that the audience is on the tactics. Thank you, producers, for taking into consideration that we don't all have military backgrounds.

This is a very Australian (and Kiwi) movie and the young larrikins come across as brash until they find themselves under fire. Strong performances by all.

Whilst this movie didn't enlighten me any as to the whys and wherefores of this war, it did perpetuate the ANZAC ideals of mateship, larrikinism and courage.

What I did learn was that the Artillery at Nui Dat
fired almost non-stop for 5 hours in support of the battle.
Artillery fire was eventually being brought in "Danger Close" to within 50 metres of the Australian position.

And also that the helicopter pilots were as mad as cut snakes!

This is a good movie, an important movie because it helps us to understand what those (now old) men underwent, and why they deserve more respect than perhaps they received at the time.

Tip: Don't rush out of the theatre. Read the screen right till the end. This is when you'll be privy to a few sobs. Sitting in the dark in the quiet, I felt as if I had been winded.
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Why? Australian movie about our history
Where: Released on 8th of August in cinemas around the country
Your Comment
Thanks for your honest review May. I am keen to see it as one of my Brisbanite friends has a small part in it.
by May Cross (score: 3|5382) 64 days ago
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