DANGER CLOSE review by Patrick Hendrickson – The Battle of Long Tan gets a cinematic treatment

DANGER CLOSE review by Patrick Hendrickson – The Battle of Long Tan gets a cinematic treatment

DANGER CLOSE presents a fictionalized portrayal of the real-life Battle of Long Tan. A massive engagement in the Vietnam War between North Vietnamese and Australian forces. The premise itself is an interesting one due to its focus on a battle that might not be familiar to a wider audience.

There are nearly a dozen or so characters who are introduced but hardly any of them receive any kind of development. Major Harry Smith (Travis Fimmel) is the main focus of the story, with several subordinates rounding out the rest of the cast. None of the performances are particularly notable, but this is more of a denigration of the material this cast had to work with than their actual acting ability.

One notable segment of this film would be a rundown of each real-life soldier portrayed including pictures of these men next to the actor portraying them. This pays tribute to the real-life soldiers who participated in this battle. Furthermore, DANGER CLOSE ends with a dedication to ALL who fought in the battle of Long Tan, including the Vietnamese forces. This is a commendable message that spuns any politicized influence.

That commendable sentiment unfortunately does not make up for the rather boring film that DANGER CLOSE turns out to be. The runtime of this film is almost two hours and nearly every moment of that two hours feels overly long. The action is passable but uninteresting. The only somewhat laudable aspect here would be some truly quality cinematography.

Still, that is not enough to maintain interest nor does any other element stand out in anyway. The best summation of this production would be to call it “another war movie.” There are a lot of notes that have been hit countless times in war cinema before, and usually these have been done much better. This film invites comparison to various classics not just set in Vietnam, but in various different war films, and DANGER CLOSE usually does not match up to the quality of those classics.

Overall DANGER CLOSE is not a bad movie, it is just a generic and mostly uninteresting movie. The slow start of it is an absolute killer and things only become interesting in the last 30 minutes or so. This final battle segment is a climactic one, but the build up to it is such a drag that it does not feel worth it. The dedication of this film to the real-world combatants of the Battle of Long Tan is commendable, but the lack of personality given to these men leaves a very hollow experience, therefore DANGER CLOSE gets a 2/5.

DANGER CLOSE is now playing in select theaters, and is on digital and On Demand

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.