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While protecting top-secret intelligence, a forward operating base on the front lines of the Vietnam War gets attacked (Ambush). The labyrinthine maze of underground tunnels is a fertile ground for the Vietcong who have stolen vital documents. While portraying gritty combat, brotherhood in arms and plot plodding with serious days, the movie tends to vacillate. Pacing also becomes a factor during an overlong and indistinct subterranean second act. Characters get lost in dizzying locales. One character particularly stands out (Connor Paolo). This is a reminder of hell and sometimes uselessness that typifies war.

General Drummond (Aaron Eckhart) lands in 1966 Vietnam with grave concerns. He has an appointment with Captain Mora (Gregory Sims), a Special Forces Officer from Green Berets The enemy has targeted a classified binder that identifies Vietnamese collaborators.. Drummond wants the binder brought to Firebase Argonne in Quảng Trị Provence just before no-mans-land starts. The mission is simple: recover the documents; at all costs.

Mora’s presence stuns Corporal Ackerman (Paolo). Mora thinks little of bookworm Ackerman and his engineers. Ditch diggers aren’t fighters in his eyes. Other Special Forces troops emerge from the bush spooking hardboiled Ackerman’s men. They possess binder but suffered heavy casualties.

The Vietcong strike ferociously deep inside their base. How did they pass through security? The bloody battle ends up being worst than anyone had expected it to be.. Enemy has taken possession of binder itself.. When he learns what happened Drummond sends Lt Col Miller (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) into camp, furious at them all . And with him comes another strategy plus his dog as well as all other hunting gears needed for this . Their defense was breached by Vietcong who used tunnels . They must find an entrance, infiltrate the network, and retrieve the intelligence. Ackerman’s engineers are ordered underground by Drummond. They have two hours.

Drummond commands from afar, Mora remains at the firebase, and Miller stays topside with his dog. The narrative follows Ackerman and his novice troops into the lion’s den. According to Mark Earl Burman (Wild Boar), a prolific producer, director and co-writer who also made Dog Eat Dog (2013), cold cruelty is what characterizes military decisions. On the other hand, an army needs men like Mora and Miller but not expendable grunts in engineering overalls . So that makes sense using chess as analogy but does it seem believable that a general would be so callous towards his soldier’s lives? His point is made bluntly without nuances.

Ambush has many supporting characters with dialogue. They carry the film through most of the underground action. It’s almost impossible to put names on faces in those dim tunnels. This is one way that Burman shows us what war fog looks like.. None of them can see anything because they are just scared children.. Every corner could be death-trap or foe waiting there for them But to feel anguish when lives are lost spectators must identify soldiers on screen. By race and ethnicity was how I remembered them though I could have told them apart much better after seeing more exposition on their backgrounds . The movie needs more set up shots to establish this familiarity

Paolo has a lot of television credits. I mean I didn’t know him before the movie. Paolo, one of the soldiers in the film, brings heart and realism to his character who is faced with an impossible task. The best part of Ambush involves Ackerman rallying his men as they struggle to remain alive. They were not ready at all against a cunning enemy defending their land. Burman shows how young men are killed or maimed so easily while fighting for meaningless objectives. It may not have been done artistically but its point keeps coming across.

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