The Battle of Long Tan – Danger Close
The Vietnam War messed with the heads of many a fine young Australian, and Danger Close portrays reasonably well the true horrors of war the best a movie can. I won’t go into my personal history and military service, however, will focus on the movie’s story and remembrance of Australia’s single highest casualty count of the Vietnam War. let August 18, 1966 not be forgotten.
Danger close has it all, heroic soldiers, scared kids, incompetent command and lack of real-time resources. The movie explores a mix of young men thrown together to form all different backgrounds, who form a bond that only hell on earth can give. Travis Fimmel portrayal of a battle harden Major and his refusal to follow orders to abandon his men if hard watching. During which it was difficult not to hate command and their apparent lack of empathy.
Travis Fimmel … Major Harry Smith
Toby Blome Toby Blome … Private Bill ‘Yank’ Akell
Alexander England Alexander England … Warrant Officer Class 2 Jack Kirby
Aaron Glenane Aaron Glenane … Captain Morrie Stanley
Uli Latukefu Uli Latukefu … Bombardier Ray Ngatai
Richard Te Are Richard Te Are … Gunner Murry Watene
Luke Bracey Luke Bracey … Sergeant Bob Buick
Sean McCarthy Sean McCarthy … Private Vic Grice
Mojean Aria Mojean Aria … Second Lieutenant Gordon Sharp
Ryan Hance Ryan Hance … Private Barry ‘Custard’ Meller
Jordan Abbey-Young Jordan Abbey-Young … Private Ron Eglinton
James Storer James Storer … Private Kenny Gant
Ben Esler Ben Esler … Gunner Ken Deacon
Anthony Hayes Anthony Hayes … Lieutenant Colonel Colin Townsend
Richard Roxburgh Richard Roxburgh … Brigadier David Jackson
Danger Close Review
The young fellas in the jungle fighting a war with no hope and no clear purpose, the drinking of tinnies and the band playing at the start all helped set to tone for a war that would turn into a living hell. The flippancy of command and the initial intel was far offsetting for a gripping battle and one that will bring tears to your eyes.
2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers were held off by 108 mostly inexperienced Australian soldiers, but they proved to be lions led by a lion who was commanded by sheep. In this nail-biting true to life portrayal of war, you are guaranteed to feel anger, hate loss, and possibly a slightly better understanding of why war fucks with your head.
Danger Close Final Words
The movie could have gone further as it does not fully capture the true grit and horror or war. However for a forgotten battle its a good start to bring back to the publics attention what soldiers face. We have a number of heroes returning from Iraq and the Gan and over the years they will relive this hell, we must do more to support people who have given all they have, and pay the price for the rest of their lives.
My Rating a Solid 8 of 10
The final song only 19 sums up the entiredebacle.