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Windtalkers (2002)

Windtalkers (2002)

Nicolas CageAdam BeachPeter StormareNoah Emmerich
John Woo


Windtalkers (2002) is a English,Navajo,Japanese movie. John Woo has directed this movie. Nicolas Cage,Adam Beach,Peter Stormare,Noah Emmerich are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2002. Windtalkers (2002) is considered one of the best Action,Drama,War movie in India and around the world.

During World War II when the Americans needed to find a secure method of communicating they devised a code using the Navajo language. So Navajos were recruited to become what they call code talkers. They would be assigned to a unit and would communicate with other units using the code so that even though the enemy could listen they couldn't understand what they were saying. And to insure that the code is protected men are assigned to protect it at all costs. One of these men is Joe Enders, a man who sustained an injury that can make him unfit for duty but he manages to avoid it and is told of his duty and that the man he is suppose to protect is Ben Yahzee. Initially there is tension but the two men learn to get along.


Windtalkers (2002) Reviews

  • Ridiculous


    I thought this was a film about Navajo code talkers. Well, it's not. While there are a couple of Navajos in the film, the story revolves around Nicolas Cage winning WWII all by himself. This guy's incredible and makes John Wayne look like a wimp. Every time the Marines are in trouble, up jumps good old Nicolas Cage with his Thompson and POOF! the battle is WON! I wonder how we won WWII without Nicolas Cage? The film has a LOT of combat footage and most of that is very well done. That alone is worth a watch but don't expect to learn much of anything about the Navajo code talkers. You should read about them, because theirs was an important part of history, but they're a minor part in this film. I gave it a 6, only because of the good combat footage.

  • The most realistic war movie ever made


    I learned a lot about World War II from this film. First of all, during this war it was a custom of both the Japanese and Americans to scream every time you shoot or get shot (even with about 30 bullets in your chest you can still scream apparently). Secondly, Japanese soldiers do not like cover. They like to stay out in the open, and will not fire their rifles unless they're within 15 feet of American soldiers. Thirdly, one man with a Thompson sub-machine gun can take out an entire regiment of Japanese soldiers in an afternoon. This film was completely first rate, start to finish. From the soldiers who flail about wildly as entire belts of machine gun ammo are pumped into them (before they drop to the ground mind you), to the 12 soldiers that Nicholas Cage shoots with a handgun while laying on his back wounded in the space of about 15 seconds, this film just screamed realism and authenticity. Highly recommended to history buffs and people who can appreciate some of the best acting ever put on film.

  • The Director's Cut is an improvement


    I just watched the director's cut on DVD after having seen the theatrical cut some time ago. Plot summary: In WWII, a code based on the Navajo language was used to securely communicate between US troops in the Asian Pacific, without the Japanese eavesdropping. We follow two Navajo code talkers and their US Marine "bodyguards" as they go into combat on a Japanese island. A lot has been written about this somewhat flawed John Woo movie. After having seen both versions, my main disappointment is still that the two code talkers seem like background characters. A movie with a lower budget, without big Hollywood stars put in the foreground would probably have been more satisfying. Maybe that movie should have been done by another director too, I don't know. Enough good "general" war movies have been made. The code talker part of the story should have been made much more pivotal as was done here. I'm a fan of Woo's Hong Kong and Hollywood work. The director's cut of Windtalkers doesn't turn a mediocre Woo film into a masterpiece, but it is certainly an improvement. Main advantages of the DC are more fleshed out characters. You get more background on all main characters, including the two Navajo code talkers. I felt more involved. As a result, the code talker part of the story is served better, but still not enough to my taste. The DC also has more uncut battlefield scenes. Woo really shows his talent here, with raw yet beautifully shot war action. You get the sense that you are in the middle of the action. I was particularly interested if a scene was put back in where a US soldier takes a golden tooth from a Japanese corpse. This scene was described in several documentaries about censorship by the US Army. Not completely surprisingly, this scene was also absent from the DC. If you are a Woo fan or already appreciated the theatrical cut, it may be worth checking out the director's cut. My ratings: 6/10 for the original cut. 8/10 for the director's cut.

  • Blowing in the Wind


    This showed up on the history channel and with the husband once again off playing poker I thought, OK, time to ingest a little more history. Only to end up retching over yet another Nicholas Cage bad movie. Now, I just recently saw Con Air for the first time on STARz, so the juxtaposition is unfortunate for his rating, but is he letting his lizard tattoo or Elvis visitations determine his movie selections? Are the script readings done by a psychic? Does he gravitate to stupid characters? I thought I was going to see something that was about World War II, but actually I got to see a silly film filled with characters I've seen so often I could have written this script myself during a silicon valley traffic jam, and done a much better and far more historically accurate job. They all trotted around after the usual conflicted Sergeant - or is Nicolas Cage always conflicted (see fixations above)? - with a Navajo Indian (instead of a representative of some other ethnic group) thrown in to cause racial tension. Let's see, we had the bullying racist, who then has his life saved by an Indian (gee, there's a surprise), the panicking recruit who can't take the pressure and trips the mine field (wow, didn't see that coming), the accepting comrade who (symbolically) blends an harmonica with the Indian's flute (but dies saving the Indian's life, ditto, ditto), the young boy who must grow up too soon (ah, the poignancy), the Army lieutenant that treats everyone like tools (not again!), the mystic wisdom that teaches us all a little something, the constantly breathy flute music (used with all cultural lessons) - have we endured this one before? Not really, because we've never seen quite so many battles, with so many bodies (tossed so high in the air) before, or filmed in Utah while pretending to be Iwo Jima. Was John Woo trying to win some kind of battle-filming contest here? Well, I hope so, because he sure lost a battle with the script. Of course, we had the added stress for poor battle-worn Nicolas Cage that he might have to shoot his code talker rather than have him fall into enemy hands. Quite the sophisticated plot twist, that! Oh no, will Nicolas get too close and feel bad if he has to shoot his young trustee? More conflict! More angst! Cage's specialty! Makes the story so much better, right? Better, but not accurate. Reality: the code wasn't the language - it was a derivative, based on, the Navajo language. If someone was captured, the code would be changed. The prisoner might understand the base language, but not the code itself. Oh, yeah, periodically the Indians, who I believe were the original inspiration for the movie, would get to talk back and forth in Navajo, and we would get to see the translation on the screen. They would say their position (not in actual code). Oh, and one time in the movie, the Japanese noticed the Americans weren't speaking English. And another time, according to the movie, the Japanese attempted to capture an Indian who was just standing around the front line because somehow they knew he was a code talker. Right. They guessed in the middle of combat that he wasn't Hawaiian or Japanese American, he was an American Indian. And they also had somehow figured out that the language that wasn't English was a derivative of an American Indian dialect, and therefore this man must be a Code Talker. Right there in the middle of the battle. Alrighty then. (It must be similar wisdom that causes me to doubt the veracity of this incident.) These incidents brought history alive for me, alright. Reality: Code talkers were translating messages NON STOP throughout the taking of Iwo Jima. Which makes it difficult to understand how the Navajos would have been hacking and shooting away on the battlefield, or standing around the front lines, and going through that growing-up-too-soon stuff. Reality: They were able to communicate three times faster than previous codes had hustled along, but like any other job, the number of messages increased to fill the time available. Seems to be a bit of a discrepancy between busy busy real code talker life and Hollywood. Oh, sorry. That's a duh. In addition to not understanding the difference between a language and a code (is this rocket science?) the soldiers in the film didn't even wear the right dog tags. Reality: I've got my dad's dog tags from WWII, and you can get a lovely facsimile at the Smithsonian gift store right now. Were they not stylish enough? Was it more exciting to use choke chain dog tags? Every time I saw a soldier I saw an anachronism. As in big fat mistake. I do appreciate that at least we have a movie in these Politically Correct days where we had two sides to a war: good guys and bad guys. You don't see that very often any more, so points to John Woo for that one area. But I'm getting away from what was really going on in the movie, which was all about battered, bruised, benighted and badgered Nicholas Cage, who talked to the Navajo like Clint Eastwood talked to the trees in Paint Your Wagon. Not to mention the usual angst-ridden and conflicted stuff he faces. I got very little wind talking, and an awful lot of wind blowing out of this movie. All it did for the important role the Navajo (and Comanche in the European Theatre) Indians played during WWII was bring them up in conversation - too many inaccuracies to be of any other use.

  • Hot Air 1/10

    Critical Eye UK2004-04-21

    Warning: SPOILERS If you live in the UK, a good guide to the quality of any movie is the review it gets in the best-selling 'News of The World' Sunday paper. Because the NoW's critical faculties are arguably less than those of an ant, a good review equals lousy movie; bad review: probably worth seeing. On which basis, the endorsement `One of the best war movies of all time -- News of the World' that features on the cover of the UK DVD Collector's Edition says it all: here indeed is one of the worst war movies of all time. Quite why it should've been so is mystifying, for in the subject of the Navajo code talkers there's a genuinely interesting story: how they were recruited, the dilemmas they faced in signing up to war, the problems of integration, the heroism they showed and the regrettable secrecy that for so long obscured the nature of their contribution. . . in the hands of half-way proficient moviemakers, the code talkers' tale would've made for first class cinema. Instead we get 129 tedious minutes of pyrotechnic mayhem, and a plot so ludicrous it's astonishing it even survived first pitch: that a codetalker has to be 'protected' by a guardian angel lest he fall into the hands of the enemy. Oh really? The premise might've had some passing credibility had director Woo understood that remaking 'War and Peace' was not, in this instance, A Good Idea. But no: Woo moves remorselessly from one major league set-piece to another, in every one of which bombs, bullets, bayonets and shells rain down upon the unfortunate Navajo from left, right, behind, in front and above (thus making Nicolas Cage's advice to `make sure you follow my ass if you want to stay alive' one of the transparently daftest script lines of recent memory). Far from taking care of the windtalker / codetalker, the US Army ensures - in this movie at least - that he has a survivability prospect of thirty seconds. Still, he is assisted by Cage, whose uncanny ability to survive veritable hails of gunfire is in inverse proportion to his ability to act: you'd have thought 'Captain Correlli's Mandolin' would've been disaster enough but no, Cage goes for broke in this one, distraught, depressed, dysfunctional, and alarmingly indiscriminating when it comes to shooting people (his own, and the enemy). The good news though is that he doesn't get to play a musical instrument. Two sequences do, however, stand out in this turgid mess. In the first, Cage allows himself to be captured by the enemy whilst pretending to be a prisoner of his Navajo charge, this sleight of hand being accomplished thanks to the fact that Adam Beach (who plays the Navajo) looks, er, Japanese. Woo seems not to have noted that Beach doesn't even look like a Navajo, let alone a Japanese, but then, nor does the enemy, which for reasons known only to writers John Rice and Joe Batteer decides in this screenplay to implement a policy of actually taking prisoners instead of shooting all Americans on sight. But perhaps they guessed it was Nicolas Cage. In the second sequence, Cage rolls drunkenly around a battlefield graveyard, weeping for the souls of all the men who were killed when he was single-handedly taking the Solomon Islands at the start of the movie. (Seeing as they were spared from the rest of 'Windtalkers', it's not at all clear why anyone should feel sorry for them). Anyway, Cage rolls around, and the non-Navajo non-Japanese lookalike Beach comes to his aid. . . and brushes against a cardboard cross which promptly falls over. Yup. That's how they did it during the war. Buried each individual soldier under a highly photogenic if insubstantial cardboard cross. And never mind the tropical rainstorms. Still, at least it's consistent: cardboard plot, cardboard direction, cardboard acting. VERDICT: Depressingly inept; a missed opportunity -- considering the nature of the source material -- and, sadly, yet another question mark over John Woo's career. RATING: 1/10.


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