Mel Gibson back in command of the Seventh Regiment

By on March 21, 2002

“We Were Soldiers,” a film based on the novel, We Were Soldiers Once, And Young written by Joseph L. Galloway and Hal Moore is now playing at theaters.
Starring Mel Gibson, Greg Kinnear and Madeleine Stowe, this adaptation directed by Randall Wallace (“Braveheart” writer) is based on the first American combat initiative of the Vietnam War.
The film is of a new breed of war blockbusters in which audience members feel the characters’ feelings and emotions. It brings patriotism to a new level much like the recent box office smash “Black Hawk Down.” “We Were Soldiers” is a film in which Americans do not automatically prevail in the style of traditional Hollywood war movies.
Taking on many different perspectives, all the characters names are real from the original text. Colonel Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) is a Harvard graduate and has a family back home. He is a hard-hitting , authoritative officer who stands for all that he says.
Moore even refers to himself as General Custer of the seventh regiment because he too leads his own seventh regiment into uncharted territory. He is followed in rank by Sergeant Basil Plumley (Sam Elliot), who provides comic relief, but together the two are as good as Army officers get. Moore and Plumley soon lead the regiment into battle.
Lieutenant Jack Geoghegan (Chris Klein) is also a family man and Moore refers to him as a natural born leader. Another cool perspective to the movie is that it shows the insides and the feelings of the soldiers’ wives and children at home.
The wives all join together and become friends until the film’s grim reaper comes along. A Yellow taxi cab driver delivers the letters to the fallen soldiers wives. Julie Moore (Madeline Stowe) and Barbara Goeghegan (Keri Russell) decide to take the duty into their own hands.
The last major role in this film is given to Joe Galloway (Barry Pepper). He is the newspaper reporter and photographer who is dropped into the battlefield.
When times got rough and it seemed like the regiment was going to fall he decides to grab a gun and help the ranks. Galloway also co-wrote the autobiographical book with Moore.
“We Were Soldiers” makes audiences laugh, cry, panic and cover your eyes continually. It captivates you with all of its gunshots, explosions and bursts of napalm. A tough feat, the film is even more graphic than “Saving Private Ryan” and latter day war films.
If you like blood and tears then this movie is highly recommended. “We Were Soldiers” is an in-your- face experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
It has similar “Braveheart” type battle scenes with ‘in the middle of the fields’ shots. It makes you wonder if any of these events actually happened like this in such monstrous fashion.


About Bruce Wallace