Great Raid, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

During the World War II occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese, more than 500 American prisoners of war are held in brutal conditions at the Cabanatuan POW camp. Malnourished and deprived of basic necessities, the POWs remain alive with the help of members of the underground who smuggle them medicine. Though the camp is deep in enemy territory, difficult to penetrate and has no strategic advantage, news of the Japanese intention to execute the prisoners demands a rescue mission. Under the command of Lt. Col. Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt), and with a daring rescue strategy developed by Capt. Prince (James Franco), the 6th Ranger Battalion cuts off key reinforcement and supply routes and then carefully moves into position around the unsuspecting Japanese forces at the camp. In a burst of gunfire, with superb military precision, the Rangers begin the great raid to liberate the POWs in this action thriller.

Though there are a lot of World War II films of varying quality, one doubts that there will ever be too many. Heroic, true stories like the one portrayed in The Great Raid deserve to be told often, especially when criminal violence is so regularly glorified by the film industry. Because it is a war film, viewers can expect to see violent and disturbing images. Unfortunately, viewers will also hear foul language and sexual dialog. While one might argue that raw language adds to the realism and emotional intensity of the film, the inclusion of frank sexual dialog seems unnecessary. There are other ways to convey intensity and realism. In the end, Preview cautions viewers. The level of violence is certainly not acceptable for younger audiences, and adults will find the language and sexuality to be a barrier to enjoying an otherwise good story.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times – mild (hell 3, damn 7); moderate (b-stard 3, t-ts 1); strong (-ss 1, b-tch 1, SOB 4)

Obscene Language: Few (2) times – moderate (s-ck 1); strong (s-word 1)

Profanity: Several (5) times – moderate (G 1); strong (GD 3, J 1)

Violence: Many times – moderate (many war combat scenes with shooting, stabbing and mortar blasts; men shot to death in combat scenes; men killed with knives and bayonets); strong (POW camp scenes include executions of several prisoners, prisoners shot to death at close range with gory effects shown, prisoners burned alive with gory effects shown, prisoner beaten and hanged, charred bodies shown, several civilians shot at close range for assisting enemy POWs, depiction of torture, POWs are shown emaciated and sick as a result of being mistreated by their captors)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times – mild (man talks about being sexually attracted to a married woman, men suggest that a woman would have left her husband for another man); moderate (man jokes about paying another man’s mother for sex); strong (men compare a very enjoyable experience to performing a sexual act on a famous woman)

Drugs: Few times – mild (some people are shown smoking and drinking alcohol)

Other: Appropriate reference to belief in God, brutal depictions of war, negative depictions of WWII-era Japanese and their values and attitudes, depiction of some superstitious practices of soldiers, POW tells his captor that the future is not in the captor’s hands (a possible reference to God or justice prevailing), the movie notes the great human value in rescuing POWs despite its strategic unimportance, soldiers are encouraged to measure their worthiness by their performance on the battlefield

Running Time: 131 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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