HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
   
 
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
   
 
  Hell in the Pacific Mano A ManoBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
Genre: War
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A Japanese soldier (Toshirô Mifune) has been washed up on a deserted island in the Pacific during the Second World War, but has adapted to life there as he waits, perhaps in vain, to be rescued. Today he surveys the sea before him through his binoculars, but there's an object closer to him that he hasn't picked up on: a dinghy that has washed up on the rocks by the shore. The occupant of that craft is lying in a daze amongst the jungle foliage, an American pilot (Lee Marvin) who gradually comes round to realise he is not alone there: he has an enemy...

And so does the Japanese soldier, because, guess what, they're both on opposite sides of the war, but are brought together in one of those special movie contrivances. For director John Boorman's magnified version of the conflicts we humans get drawn into, scriptwriters by Alexander Jacobs (who had co-written Boorman's previous hit Point Blank) and Eric Bercovici had conjured up a tale that revealed that if we put aside our differences in the name of survival, then we could really make progress.

But before the characters got to that stage there was a lot of manly posturing, grunting and roaring on the part of two of the most muscular stars America and Japan had ever offered the world. This was supposed to be a keen commentary on mankind's antagonism, yet really it's not much deeper than a Tom and Jerry cartoon. First up there's a battle for who gets the drinking water, as the Japanese soldier has proved resourceful enough to collect the rainwater and condensation to sup, and the American wants his own share.

It's a fight for survival that ends in a lot of bad behaviour, including pissing on the other's head, near-crucifixion of both and a lot of humiliation. First the Japanese soldier ties the American pilot to a makeshift yoke and has him drag a rock across the sand for no reason than to implement his domination over him. Then the American escapes, and the tables are turned, but eventually they have to reach an agreement because it has become apparent that nobody is going to rescue them. The only solution is to rescue themselves, but how?

By building a raft, of course, which they do after a fashion and a lot of arguing in their respective languages: even though they don't understand what they're saying to each other, they still yell out insults or orders. Something about the indomitable human spirit emerges as the duo take to the ocean in their transport, but although there's a lot of straining and clenching of teeth, it doesn't translate into gripping drama. To make matters worse, the story's climax renders what we've seen an exercise in futility, no matter which version you see (there are two endings available). Is Boorman saying that no matter how we might cooperate, we're still doomed to falling out at some point down the line? Was all that teamwork a waste of time because our differences outweigh our similarities? Or are we to take solace in the way that we see eye to eye every so often even if the truce doesn't last? Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2668 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Boorman  (1933 - )

British director whose work can be insufferably pretentious or completely inspired, sometimes in the space of a single film. He began his career with the BBC, before directing Dave Clark Five vehicle Catch Us If You Can. Hollywood beckoned and his Lee Marvin movies Point Blank and Hell in the Pacific won him admirers.

From then on the quality was variable: the obscure Leo the Last, the harrowing megahit Deliverance, the ridiculous Zardoz, the reviled Exorcist II, Arthurian adaptation Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, Where the Heart Is, The General and underrated spy drama The Tailor of Panama. Was once involved with an aborted attempt to film The Lord of the Rings.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: