THE WALKING DEAD, based on a true-life story, follows four black Marines through a particularly flawed mission in Vietnam. Although the film ends on a positive note, its extreme language and violence make it hardly worth watching.
The movie opens in South Vietnam as a platoon of Marines new to the front file in for military briefing. They are told that they will join the first platoon, already in the field, for a rescue mission, which seems like a relatively safe assignment until nothing goes according to plan. Instead of the expected safe landing zone, the soldiers are put down in the middle of an enemy ambush. Only four Marines survive, and they, left without a radio and maps, must find their way to the first platoon. At the designated meeting point, however, the men discover that the first platoon has been completely decimated. Realizing that their only chance of being rescued is to complete the mission, they fight their way to the POW compound where they find a radio and support.
Although THE WALKING DEAD bears an important message about the particular plight of blacks in Vietnam — that many enlisted for duty in a horrendous war in order to have a chance at a better life at home — its message is diluted by its artistic failings. The concepts, racial inequality and the senseless brutality of the war, which are its main concern are certainly worthy material, but they are stretched to paper thinness by the film’s propensity for mediocrity. Uninspiring dialogue, standard camera work and extreme language and violence render the film hardly worth viewing.
(H, LLL, VVV, SSS, NN, A, D, AB, B, C, M) Humanist worldview; 119 obscenities & 8 profanities; graphic war scenes, brutality, military & non-military gun play & slayings; adultery depicted & many references to sexual acts; brief upper female nudity; alcohol & marijuana use; falsehood that not even God can save; some positive biblical & Christian references; and, one act of petty theft.