|Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation (MGM) | Release Date: June 14, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Well matched both to the material and each other, Cage and Beach capture Windtalkers' true struggle, the fight to hold on to values like honor, friendship, and tenderness in an environment that demands otherwise. This is as much a Woo trademark as the carefully orchestrated gunplay. Read full review
Even though we can see it coming, this gruff, inarticulate, half-embarrassed love between men, arrived at after many setbacks, is one of the stories that action movies never tire of telling and that many of us, even though we may laugh it off the next day, still find moving. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
Woo's antiwar intentions and his talent are at odds. In Windtalkers, war is a beautiful hell.
While I don't always have the stomach for Woo's viscera or the heart for his pure, angelic heroes and impure, diabolical villains, I found myself responding to the context and subtext of Windtalkers while closing my eyes through what one might call its text. It's two-thirds of a great film. Read full review
The over-the-top sincerity that is so rewarding in "Face/Off" (1998), Woo's best American film, feels too clichéd in this more conventional context.
The movie deals superficially with Native American pride and racism in the ranks, but it's hardly about the codetalkers at all: Neither Woo nor the screenwriting team of Joe Batteer and John Rice seem to appreciate the bitter irony in a Native American soldier protecting his land by serving the very government that took most of it from him in the first place. Read full review
The strength of Windtalkers is in its occasional, all-too-short respites from battle, when Enders is struggling with his demons and Yahzee is trying to understand his aloofness.
The Navajos must have sent much more crucial messages at much higher levels during the war, but you'd never know it from this movie. Windtalkers is practically all action and no talk.
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