Rescue Dawn (2006)
This film from the Vietnam War by veteran German virtuoso Werner Herzog can be placed in the 'relatively based on a true story' category. It's his fictional follow-up to the 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly in which we meet the German-born Dieter Dengler who crashed during a mission for Air America during the Vietnam War and was captured by the Pathet Lao who tortured and incarcerated him together with six other POWs fighting on American side.
The strength of Rescue Dawn is the obvious power of the destinies we meet here, and the feat of Mr. Dengler. However, the filmatic execution by Herzog is disappointing. He is too lenient in the film's initial phase when the film would have profited on a better introduction of the gallery of characters. This goes especially for the Dieter Dengler character who really doesn't come into his own until the final half of the film. By then, it is the compelling, reticent friendship between Dieter and Duane and their primal fight for survival that propels the film forward. And in the end, Herzog seems to reap his own achievement just as much as Mr. Dengler's. Christian Bale has long been known for being a master with accents. Unfortunately, his Dieter Dengler has nothing German to him - neither in accent or ways. With a little more effort from Bale through Herzog, Rescue Dawn could have stood out instead of fall into line.