Action / Drama / War


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September 06, 2011 at 11:11 AM



Mark Ruffalo as Pappas
Nicolas Cage as Joe Enders
Christian Slater as Ox Henderson
721.60 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 6 / 52

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by grahamsj3 6 / 10


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.

Reviewed by ridleyrules 8 / 10

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.

Reviewed by rah25 7 / 10

Great action sequences but little emphasis on story

When watching the trailer of Windtalkers, one gets the impression that this film is about the Navajo indians and how their native language was used to create a code that could not be broken by the Japanese. However, it turns out that this film is really about a white army seargeant (Nicolas Cage) and how he eventually befriends the codetalker (Adam Beach) that he is responsible for protecting.

Director John Woo doesn't disappoint with the action sequences. All of them are breathtaking and highly detailed. However, all of this action tends to take away the emphasis on the story. No matter, the scenes that show the developing friendship between the two seargeants (Cage and Christian Slater) and the codetalkers (Beach and Roger Willie) gives Windtalkers its heart. (7/10)

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