"Intense But Talky"
What You Need To Know:
RECON is a very tense, well-acted war movie. The movie’s suspenseful war scenes are involving. Some of the bickering between the soldiers is funny, but the script is too talky, so some of the bickering’s annoying. RECON has a strong redemptive ending that includes a heartfelt prayer of one man for another man. Despite the positive ending, the rest of RECON contains nearly constant foul language, more than 160 obscenities and profanities. Discerning, media-wise viewers will find this level of foul language to be unacceptable.
RECON is a war drama about a small group of American soldiers in Northern Italy during World War II who go on an extremely dangerous reconnaissance mission led by an elderly Italian partisan whom they don’t fully trust. RECON is a very tense, suspenseful, well-acted war movie, with a strong redemptive ending, but it’s too talky and sadly has nearly constant foul language.
The movie opens with a platoon of American soldiers in snowy Northern Italy who stop a cart traveling along the road. Suddenly, a German officer steps out from behind the cart and kills two soldiers before being shot dead by the other Americans. The German was traveling with a black-haired woman, who pleads for her life. However, the sergeant, a man named Reece, just shoots her dead.
The other men are disturbed by what the witnessed, especially the grizzled but sensitive corporal, Marson, and a young talkative solider from Boston named Asch. Asch thinks he should file a report against Sergeant Reece, but the other guys advise against it.
They have little time to discuss the issue, however, because their Commanding Officer (CO) orders them on a reconnaissance mission right away. He wants to know them to find out what the German army is doing. Out on the road, the platoon splits up, with Corporal Marson taking Asch and two other men to probe a small local mountain. On their way up the mountain, Corporal Marson and his men encounter an elderly Italian man, who says his name is Angelo. During their interrogation of Angelo, he tells them there are German troops in the forest area up the mountain. So, Marson orders him to be their guide up the gentle slopes of the mountain into the denser forest area.
The other men don’t fully trust the Italian, especially a soldier named Joyner. Also, Joyner and Asch don’t get along at all and constantly bicker with one another.
The situation gets much more intense for the Americans when their medic, the fourth soldier, steps on a landmine and dies and when a mysterious sniper fires on them several times, then disappears.
Will Asch decide to file a report against Sergeant Reece? Will he and the other soldiers survive? Will Angelo betray them to the Germans?
RECON is a very tense, well-acted war movie. The movie’s suspenseful war scenes are pretty involving. Also, some of the bickering between Joyner and Asch and among the other American soldiers is funny. However, the movie is too talky, so some of the bickering becomes annoying. Eventually, however, the bickering stops during the movie’s second half when the soldiers are forced to support one another in matters of life and death. When that happens, the movie becomes more emotionally moving. Ultimately, this change in tone leads to a redemptive ending that includes a heartfelt prayer of one man for another man.
Despite the positive ending, the rest of RECON contains nearly constant foul language, more than 160 obscenities and profanities. Discerning, media-wise viewers will find this level of foul language to be unacceptable. RECON also has a cynical edge to it. It’s not a very patriotic movie. The American platoon’s sergeant murders a civilian, and the CO is rather merciless at the end. Of course, MOVIEGUIDE® realizes such things happen in war, even to “good guys,” but there are no patriotic elements to soften this cynicism. RECON is more of an antiwar movie. That doesn’t quite work when you’re talking about the American fight against Germany and Japan in World War II.