Friday, May 20, 2011

Captive Hearts

(Paul Almond, 1987)
This movie barely wriggles in its strait jacket of stultifying cliche. Am I supposed to forgive this inert catalogue of plot points because it's an '80s movie'? Or because it's based on a true story? In real life, was one of the two downed soldiers a one-dimensional racist lout, and the other a wide-eyed angel? In real life were they really at such pains to enact the 'in our culture, this is how we a) bathe b) use chopsticks c) kiss under mistletoe' routine that can be seen in every single other movie ever made on the subject? Were the lovers really this boring? And furthermore: was the noble Allied soldier really rescued from certain death by a trained hawk clawing off the scowling baddie's face? Are we supposed to cheer now? The only 80s points they get are by default: everyone loves Pat Morita, and as long as he's on screen we are at least granted some relief from the asinine puppy-love antics.

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