On August 18, 1966, 108 young Aussie soldiers found themselves surrounded by 2000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers. Led by Major Harry Smith (Fimmel), these kids, and they were kids with little to no actual battle experience, were in for the fight of their lives.
What started as a pretty ordinary day with the young blokes ambling along on a routine mission they all thought would be over in a few hours, quickly escalated into something far more dangerous.
When the platoon suddenly found themselves flanked all sides, with literally nowhere left to go, agonisingly impossible decisions were made on the battleground and back at the army base.
Should I watch it?
I’m not one to seek out movies about war and would have bypassed this one if it hadn’t been an Australian production. And that would have been a shame.
Firstly, because this movie shines a light on a story that is not very well known.
Secondly, because these kids, most of them only 19 or 20, and their leaders were so brave when faced with almost certain death. Even one of their commanding officers was prepared to leave them for dead, assuming all hope was lost.
And then that Aussie spirit, that mateship, kicks in and we watch in awe as the impossible becomes possible.
There were many casualties on both sides of course but this is an Aussie movie about our Diggers.
With a cast of bright young actors, squaring up to their slightly older counterparts, the future of our industry is clearly in good hands.
Led by seasoned veterans such as Richard Roxburgh (currently on our small screens in SBS’s The Hunting, where he plays another horrible character) and Vikings breakout star, Travis Fimmel, (who is kinda Ragnar Lothbrok but with an Aussie accent), this movie is worth a watch.
As always, support your local industry because without bums on seats, our movies, our stories, are just not going to get told. And that would be the real shame.
This movie is for any war movie fans and anyone who loves seeing Aussie beat the odds.
3 1/2 stars
Running Time: 118 minutes
Release Date: In cinemas now
Cast: Travis Fimmel, Luke Bracey, Richard Roxburgh, Anthony Hayes, Alexander England, Daniel Webber, Nicholas Hamilton, Aaron Glenane