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Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan

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I was given the opportunity to preview Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan. I am a bit of a war buff, and jumped at the chance. 

As it happens, I knew a little bit about the battle, but not a lot and was keen to see how they dramatised it.In 1966, a small company of 108 ANZAC’s, supported by a New Zealand artillery were attacked at Long Tan by around 2000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. The soldiers were mostly young and untrained, and running out of ammo. The VC were the opposite, experienced and well equipped, and there were about 2000 of them. The battle lasted about 3 hours, and was so brutal that if you were injured, you couldn’t move to get help, so pinned down was Delta Company. In the end, both sides claimed victory, but the USA acknowledged them, giving them the highest bravery award they could. 45 years later Australia followed suit.

The cast consists of mainly Australians: Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Luke Bracey (Point Break, Hacksaw Ridge), Daniel Webber (The Punisher, The Dirt), Nicholas Hamilton (IT), Stephen Peacocke (Hercules, Me Before You), and Richard Roxburgh (Breath, Rake), directed by Kriv Stenders (Red Dog), from a script by Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Australia)  

The action is a bit “Saving Private Ryan”, so there is a lot of very sudden deaths. There is quite a bit of humour, and lots of poignant moments, moral dilemmas and mateship. The downside is the dialogue is a bit weak in places, however, it is more than made up for by some epic cinematography, intense action, some serious feels, and sense of wonder at how people can go through this kind of thing, on both sides, and what kind of scars they will carry for the rest of their lives.

I recommend watching this, there are so few ANZAC stories told, and this is a pretty special one.

-Geoff Gummer

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