During World War II a traumatised sergeant is charged with the safe keeping of a Navajo code talker and ordered to ensure he never falls into enemy hands – no matter what the cost.
From the very start, it’s obvious that this is a John Woo film; the combination of slickly directed action, sentimentality and XY chromosome pleasing heroics is exactly what you’d expect of him. Woo is essentially a one trick pony; he is very capable where it comes to action set pieces and this is no exception. The battle sequences are very well staged but often times it felt like the action was a little too relentless. Nicolas Cage bulldozes through the enemy forces like Arnold Schwarzenegger on PCP and it feels like the characters are just a little too disposable. For this reason, anyone expecting a gritty, believable war film should steer well clear of Windtalkers. But although the characters are rather stereotypical and the culture clash aspect of the story rather simplistic and patronising, the cast are perfectly likeable and it never descends too far into the kind of mush Woo is capable of at his worst.
Not exactly deep or insightful, but it’s a perfectly serviceable action film that just happens to be set during a war.