Heroism, sacrifice, brotherhood and comradeship are all captured in incredible detail in the heart-pounding war drama that is Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan and this story puts you headfirst into the brutal realities of the Vietnam War and showcases an all-new side to the ANZAC spirit.
In August 1966, in a Vietnamese rubber plantation called Long Tan, 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives against 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.
Director Kriv Stenders assumes a major responsibility in telling the story of a brave group of young Australian soldiers who stepped out onto the firing line and faced down the brutality of war close-up. With an innovative eye placed to his cinematography and a strong concentration on the narrative that he is capturing, Stenders creates a truly immersive film experience here and puts his audience right into the heart of the battle. Visceral in the images that are captured up on the big screen, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan hits hard quickly and your adrenal gland will be pumping at the end of this one.
Taking on the lead in Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is Travis Fimmel and this Hollywood hunk makes for a terrific presence as the film’s lead. Starring as Major Harry ‘The Ratcatcher’ Smith, a former commando and Special Forces soldier who is placed in charge of a group of inexperienced young soldiers who he demands the highest standards from. While Fimmel’s Smith comes across as a strict disciplinarian, he’s a man who deeply cares for the welfare of his men, and his standards and discipline are there to make sure they survive. Fimmel brings a tremendous level of soul to the part of Major Harry Smith, and through the events of the film you feel that he’s able to open up as a character and let down the shield that exists between himself and his men, and his fight to stand with them to the end is a real testament to his character.
Standing next to Fimmel is Aussie heartthrob Luke Bracey as Sergeant Bob Buick, a tough and determined Staff Sergeant who makes things happen and is right at the very front of the action here with Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan. Buick is Smith’s right-hand man and he’s exacting in his professionalism and discipline and when it all kicks off he’s right in there. It’s a great change of pace for Bracey who has so far made a career portraying care-free pretty boys and here he gets to change things up as a tough-as-nails soldier who will tolerate no less than excellence and who is tested in his resolve when the led starts spewing thanks to the Viet Cong. Bracey really shows off his ability for dramatics here and I’m certain we’ll be seeing him a lot more demanding roles for him because he’s definitely got the talent for them.
Finally, bringing a sense of cocky youth and a rebellious attitude to Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is hotshot rising star Daniel Webber as Private Paul Large and Webber is a revelation here. Brash and disrespectful of the rules at every turn and harbouring fierce independence he stirs both the wrath of Travel’s Major Smith, along with his respect when Smith sees how close he’s willing to put himself into the killing fields in order to get the job done. As a performance, Webber goes for it here and he showcases why he’s one of the most in-demand young actors around. The actor brings a great sense of youth and gallantry to the role of Private Paul Large and alongside Fimmel and Bracey he’s an incredible part to the makeup of Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan.
The action of Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan kicks with the power of an M16 on full auto and this is a war movie that really sprays forth the led. The action doesn’t let up here for a moment and this is one incredible war film that ranks alongside the great Vietnam films of cinema history next to Platoon and We Were Soldiers. It’s a visceral watch from beginning to end, and the suspense ramps up as D Company faces down a horde of committed Vet Cong troops. As a testament to the ANZAC spirit, Stenders and his cast give there all to the production and the result is an incredibly gripping piece of cinema.
They don’t get more intense than Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, and this is one war film that you need to see up on the big screen. A testament to a group of soldiers who would not give up in the face of adversity and who held true to the ANZAC spirit, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan is a riveting tribute to those men who fought and died on the field of Vietnam and to the brotherhood that bounds all of them together forever.
Image: Transmission Films