One Man's Hero

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

During the Mexican-American War in the late 1840s, the United States Army was populated mostly by Irish-Catholics who crossed the Atlantic in search of a better life. When they arrived, they were told they could become citizens if they joined the Army, so many did just that. One Mans Hero tells the story of a group of these Irish-Catholics. After being repeatedly punished for going to Mass, a group of about twelve men decide they have had enough, so they desert. Sgt. John Riley (Tom Berenger) leads them into Mexico where they decide to take their chances dealing with the enemy. A guerilla leader named Cortina (Joaquim de Almeida), who is in the midst of his own fight with the Mexican government, captures the deserters and takes them to his mountain hideaway. But when the Mexican government comes in and takes over Cortina and his men, the Irish are bargained into fighting for the Mexican people for the duration of the war. This film is a rather dull attempt to tell a story about an important time in Mexican-American history. It never engages the audience, giving the movie a very impersonal and unemotional feel to it. While Tom Berenger may be a draw for a few, this movie will not bring in large audiences.

From the outset, the filmmakers lead the audience to sympathize with not only the Irish-Catholics but also the plight of the Mexican people. The movie also portrays the motive of the U.S. in this war as greed for possession of Mexican land. However, Preview cannot verify the accuracy of this portrayal. Many of the American officers show extreme prejudice to the Irish and the Mexicans. Being a war film, the movie also has its share of battle scenes, however all of them refrain from the graphic violence that so often shows up in battles. Many soldiers are shot, stabbed, or hit with cannonballs. The graphic scenes come later when the Army brutally whips a man. His back is shown twice after he has had 50 lashes, and it is a bloody mess. Also several men are hung for committing various crimes. Foul language is light with 3 regular profanities and 4 moderate crudities. But once again, another film falls victim to gratuitous violence and foul language.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Orion Pictures Corp., 1888 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067

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: Several (6) times - Mild 2, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (3) times All Regular (J 2, C 1)

Violence: Many times - Mild and Moderate, Twice Graphic (people punched and kicked, battle scenes with fighting, shooting, and stabbings, man loses leg in battle, man set on fire, various explosions, man graphically whipped and branded)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (smoking, alcohol)

Other: Many of the characters are prejudiced either against the Irish-Catholics, the Mexican people, or both

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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