RECON

"Intense But Talky"

Quality:
Content: -3 Excessive content and/or worldview problems.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

RECON is a war drama about a group of American soldiers in Northern Italy during World War II. The four soldiers are ordered to go on a reconnaissance mission up a mountain to report on German soldiers in the area. On their way to the mountain, they run into an elderly Italian partisan who says he can lead him to the German position. They don’t trust the man, but he seems pretty loyal when they come under fire from a mysterious sniper. Will any of them survive? Will the old Italian man betray them to the Germans?

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.

Content:

(C, B, Ab, LLL, VVV, D, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light Christian, redemptive worldview toward the end in antiwar movie when a prayer changes a man’s heart and brings him peace, and bickering soldiers eventually reconcile under fire, but two soldiers are merciless, and there’s a few light Anti-Semitic slurs against one soldier

Foul Language:
At least, 149 obscenities (including many “f” words), 17 strong profanities, one light profanity, a soldier vomits in one scene, and it’s implied a soldier goes off to relieve himself

Violence:
Very strong violence in a few scenes and strong violence otherwise includes German soldier shoots two American soldiers dead before being shot dead himself, American soldier shoots in head woman who pleads for her life, soldier steps on a landmine and survives a few moments as the next scene shows the bottom of his legs have been blown away, man who’s been shot by sniper has a bloody stomach wound as another soldier fights to stop the bleeding and save his life, soldiers run across a frozen dead soldier who’s been shot in the head, soldiers come under fire from a hidden sniper a couple times, and another brief gun battle ends with one person dead

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking but no illegal drugs, though morphine is used on a wounded soldier; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Some name-calling and insults between bickering American soldiers.

More Detail:

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.