The Great Raid

Rated R 2005

When it comes to World War II movies, you may never have seen one like this before -- if only because it's like three different movies at the same time. In the main story, Captain Prince (James Franco) and Lieutenant Colonel Mucci (Benjamin Bratt) plan to liberate the American POWs in a Japanese prison camp, as it is believed -- with good reason -- that the Japanese will execute every last one before retreating. Meanwhile, we also follow the story of those in the camp, who don't know that imminent death awaits -- in fact, they assume that imminent rescue is coming. The question is whether or not that will be soon enough to save the life of malaria-stricken Major Gibson (Joseph Fiennes), who survives on small doses of quinine smuggled into camp by an underground resistance force based in the Philippines. One of their most crucial agents is Margaret Utinsky (Connie Nielsen); her tale is the most interesting of the three, but it's dropped about halfway through. The rest plays like a war video game.

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The Great Raid

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