Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, Danger, Close:, The, Battle, of, Long, Tan, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Travis Fimmel, Nicholas Hamilton, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Bracey, Daniel Webber, Myles Pollard, Anthony Hayes, Alexander England, Aaron Glenane, Lincoln Lewis, Kriv Stenders, Documentary film rating




By Lily Meek
18th June 2019

Volunteering at the Sydney Film Festival brings an onslaught of energy, people, film buffs and, let's be honest, film snobs. After a jam-packed Saturday night, Sunday brought with it an even greater surge of people as popular hype, noise and whispers of anticipation lined the hallways of the Randwick Ritz. Literally, the queue was enormous.

No matter how busy things get, life tends to throw us subtle moments to smile about. On a crowded Sunday morning at the screening of 'Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan', such a moment occurred when the film's director Kriv Stenders ('Red Dog,' 'Australia Day') shook my hand and pointedly turned to the lady volunteering next to me and said, "I notice you." With two hours until the next half of our shift, it seemed suitable to support the man who showed the volunteers more courtesy than some of the attendees. The experience that followed was quite impactful.


There have been many portrayals of the Vietnam War, but arguably none that focus on the ANZAC soldiers as exclusively as that of 'Danger Close.' Walking in and sitting down at the back of the cinema, choc top and popcorn in hand, it didn't occur to me how significant the film I was about to watch would be - emotionally and personally.

The greatest asset to this film is the amount of research poured into it. Being account-based, it relies on real, human and honest narratives to tell its story and connect with viewers. Martin Walsh's previous documentary 'The Battle of Long Tan' and all prior knowledge allowed for extensive and detailed portrayal of all men involved. Credit is also due to the writers: Stuart Beattie, Karel Segers, Jack Brislee, Paul Sullivan and James Nicholas for their factual portrayal, that whilst creating a dynamic story, paid homage to those deserving. As such, the film goes beyond being just another historical action film - it's a dedication to the men who fought, and to take it one step further, those who knew them. This is the power of 'Danger Close'. In its intricate display, immersion takes place - for the mothers, the fathers, the friends, the grandchildren. The end of the Vietnam War was less than fifty years ago and it is likely as an audience member that this film will offer you an empathetic avenue into understanding the hardships endured.

This film becomes more than entertaining gun sequences - it's effective in its weaponisation of empathetic values.

In discussion with people afterwards, it was enlightening to see how a film could extend the imagination of people watching - with mother's remarking, "all I could think about was - what if that were my son?" More personally, as a grandchild of a Vietnam War vet myself, it was emotionally grueling to witness on screen the weight of his past. It presented a forum of understanding for what he went through and how it created the man he is now. From Stenders' Q&A afterwards, a tentative nod to previous testimonies like this one would suggest the film is serving its purpose. This film becomes more than entertaining gun sequences - it's effective in its weaponisation of empathetic values. Educational in its portrayal of history, yet purposeful in how it conducts itself respectfully with the narrative of real people. Sure, it holds creative licence in moments where it seeks to entertain, but the filmmakers would be the first to admit this.

'Danger Close' is an epic recount of the Battle of Long Tan with no Hollywood exaggerations, no excuses for narrative cuts, and no colourful tie-ins. Stenders has created a film that explores inherent Australian values, history and entertainment - whilst encapsulating friendship, and a modernised respect to the ANZACs.

RELEASE DATE: 08/08/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 58m
CAST: Travis Fimmel
Nicholas Hamilton
Richard Roxburgh
Luke Bracey
Daniel Webber
Myles Pollard
Anthony Hayes
Alexander England
Aaron Glenane
Lincoln Lewis
DIRECTOR: Kriv Stenders
WRITERS: Jack Brislee
James Nicholas
Karel Segers
Paul Sullivan
PRODUCERS: Martin Walsh
Michael Schwarz
John Schwarz
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The Boys Who Said No! - Powering change through non-violence
TRENDINGTHE BOYS WHO SAID NO!Powering change through non-violence
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer - Remembering a true master of film
TRENDINGANDREY TARKOVSKY. A CINEMA PRAYERRemembering a true master of film
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Dark Place - An unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
TRENDINGDARK PLACEAn unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
Buffy - A 20th anniversary love letter
TRENDINGBUFFYA 20th anniversary love letter
Leaving Allen Street - Following residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
TRENDINGLEAVING ALLEN STREETFollowing residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us