New On Netflix: Uncommon Valor

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Not so much a “war film” as it is a fantasy of post-Vietnam “what if?” heroism, Uncommon Valor is pretty cheesy — and damn proud of it. It’s also a somewhat exhausting emotional roller coaster ride, as Gene Hackman puts together a ragtag group of ex-soldiers to descend on a POW camp in Laos in the hopes of rescuing his son, who’s been missing for ten years. While it sometimes feels like a bad episode of The A-Team, Uncommon Valor hits its target more often than not, creating a rousing and inspiring experience that will have you cheering and crying (when you’re not chuckling at some of its sillier elements). Hackman is a class act, as are the members of his team (Fred Ward, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb and Tim Thomerson among them) — you also get a young Patrick Swayze, who looks to be in awe of working with all of these old-timers.