Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Aaron Eckhart, the big-name stars of this on-the-cheap Vietnam-war actioner, are positively on a cushty amount proper right here. They keep it up above flooring as, respectively, an elite tracker and a no-nonsense regular, whereas poor earlier Connor Paolo has to scurry spherical inside the Củ Chi tunnel system for lots of the working time. Hopefully his contract demanded entry to a chiropractor.
Paolo performs US navy engineer Ackermann, despatched collectively along with his fellow “growth employees” into the netherworld to retrieve a stolen labeled binder containing the names of south Vietnamese operatives undercover inside the north. He’s acquired two hours to dodge the punji stake traps and get the job carried out – at which degree, unknown to him, Eckhart’s expedient Gen Drummond is planning to blow the entire sophisticated and the fragile intel along with it. Up prime, Miller (Rhys Meyers) and totally different specific forces goons are patrolling the forest to confirm the “tunnel rats” don’t get any nasty surprises.
Ambush needs to be occurring all through the Vietcong annual picnic, because of Rhys Meyers – who imports the vast majority of the film’s cool and ruefulness – has little to do other than provide the “soulful veteran musings” facet on the guidelines of Nam cliches. Profanity-screaming superiors, wobbly greenhorn squad leaders, frazzled grunts entering into the moral coronary coronary heart of darkness; it’s a bit sad that director Mark Burman wished two totally different writers to finish up this perfunctorily handled heap of metal-fatigued tropes.
Burman’s course doesn’t help points each, flatly capturing the below-ground binder hunt in a strategy that makes it appear to be the world’s longest episode of The Crystal Maze fairly than a hellishly claustrophobic experience. The scarcity of perspective is summed up in an ending that, no matter Ackermann’s suspicion he and his crew have been designated expendable, lets the brass get away with stock pieties: “Their blood is inside the Earth. They could keep for ever.” It’s every by the book and dispiritingly obscure.