TORONTO: "Rescue Dawn," "D.O.A.P." and "Infamous" Reviewed

by | September 15, 2006 | Comments

Following are short reviews of "Rescue Dawn," "Death Of A President" AKA "D.O.A.P." and "Infamous," reviewed by Tim Ryan at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.

"Rescue Dawn"

"Rescue Dawn" is a thrilling movie, an old-fashioned tale of survival that may be the closest Werner Herzog has come to fashioning his obsession with the struggle between man and nature into a mainstream film. Christian Bale stars as Dieter Dengler, an eccentric Vietnam-era Navy pilot whose first allegiance is to flying, his country second (and mainly because the U.S gave him a chance to fly). After crashing in Laos, he is captured and sent to a P.O.W. camp; it’s there that little Dieter steels himself into a man determined to escape and navigate the treacherous jungle to freedom. Bale and Steve Zahn (as a P.O.W.) give remarkable performances, and Herzog creates an air of beauty and peril in the jungle. "Rescue Dawn" (a narrative treatment of Herzog’s documentary "Little Dieter Needs to Fly") is another triumph for the great German director.

"Death Of A President"

You don’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool George W. Bush supporter to find "Death of a President" a troubling proposition on several levels. Mind you, anti-Americanism and artistic provocation do not necessarily a bad movie make. However, despite the fact that "D.O.A.P." is reasonably impressive on a technical level, the film is not strong enough to be particularly enlightening or insightful, and that’s deadly to an enterprise that imagines the death of a sitting world leader. This not the how-to that some have made it out to be (without seeing the film), and there is a certain palpable dread in the buildup to the assassination. The actual shooting is a blip in the film. But then the film shifts gears; it becomes a murder mystery, and not a particularly interesting one at that, since none of the fictional characters are particularly compelling. Nor does the film answer several fundamental questions it raises. Like, what was the reaction of the American people to the president’s death? Was the economy destabilized? What are the details of Patriot Act 3, the homeland security bill pushed through congress in the wake of the assassination? The fact that these issues are never resolved keeps the film from being particularly useful as the warning it intends to be, and the smugness that permeates throughout doesn’t help, either. "D.O.A.P." leaves an ugly aftertaste.


Truman Capote is good company, and for much of "Infamous"’ running time, that’s enough to hold our attention. Toby Jones does a good job as Capote, playing the character for all its singular eccentricity and charm. "Infamous," like last year’s "Capote," tells the story of the events surrounding the creation of "non-fiction novel" "In Cold Blood." Capote is seen charming the pants off the New York society crowd and slowly but surely ingratiating himself to the good citizens of Holcolm, Kansas, where the shooting of a prominent family has left the community shaken. Unfortunately, the film loses steam in its second half, as Capote interviews Perry Smith (Daniel Craig), one of the accused killers; the depths of Capote’s motives aren’t explored to a satisfying degree. Despite solid performances from Jones, Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee, Craig, and Gwyneth Paltrow (whose single scene is a knockout), "Infamous" doesn’t do much beyond providing some entertaining moments. "Infamous" currently stands at 33 percent on the Tomatometer.

Click here to read more of our Tomatoes in Toronto festival coverage, including reviews, our TIFF blog, and festival photos!

Tag Cloud

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Set visit HBO Max movies zombie slashers Trophy Talk PaleyFest TCA docudrama spider-man X-Men foreign australia 2017 Turner television Tarantino Film dramedy hollywood screenings Sci-Fi films Comic Book joker Lionsgate Sony Pictures Crackle YouTube Premium Lifetime Christmas movies Character Guide 2016 deadpool canceled Sundance TV indiana jones 4/20 worst Heroines Trailer game show Adult Swim dogs concert Stephen King Infographic DC Comics spain Video Games tv talk Reality Winter TV Cannes award winner asian-american mockumentary YouTube Red aliens ratings satire scary movies documentary rotten A&E Britbox Horror facebook spanish child's play Calendar Mystery universal monsters Esquire documentaries 007 Pop TV franchise Awards Tour Paramount worst movies adventure Nat Geo Oscars BAFTA Mary Poppins Returns 24 frames cartoon cancelled best Apple TV Plus scorecard The Academy Alien quibi Musicals supernatural Cartoon Network Film Festival Discovery Channel video on demand period drama a nightmare on elm street Peacock nbcuniversal Cosplay Nominations Red Carpet composers comiccon USA hist Television Academy Acorn TV revenge Creative Arts Emmys Grammys 20th Century Fox zero dark thirty Countdown werewolf Mindy Kaling cancelled TV series historical drama emmy awards 72 Emmy Awards TLC parents stand-up comedy Marvel ITV binge Captain marvel canceled TV shows AMC USA Network DC streaming service venice Nickelodeon WarnerMedia Year in Review Drama Emmys based on movie Animation First Look technology medical drama cars TV Land Shondaland TV renewals Disney Emmy Nominations Opinion ghosts obituary directors TCA Winter 2020 Photos Women's History Month talk show SDCC dark Warner Bros. japanese Pop Black History Month HBO Go streaming Action french A24 stoner space Freeform Brie Larson elevated horror Netflix zombies war Apple Trivia BBC One FX on Hulu Family Arrowverse batman nfl Interview NBC VICE The Witch Tomatazos Bravo Best and Worst crime NYCC superhero Funimation BBC America justice league singing competition dc Apple TV+ Star Wars Black Mirror Spectrum Originals Walt Disney Pictures MCU cops Teen Paramount Network BET Awards BET FOX Comedy Central serial killer Tumblr latino boxing GIFs DGA reboot fast and furious Hear Us Out video Pet Sematary OWN FX Crunchyroll Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt PlayStation christmas movies Amazon Studios TBS The Arrangement science fiction unscripted GLAAD Podcast Valentine's Day spy thriller series robots 21st Century Fox anthology children's TV cults rotten movies we love MSNBC Starz jamie lee curtis true crime blockbuster Disney+ Disney Plus Superheroe Marvel Studios Chernobyl Rom-Com disaster Awards all-time Columbia Pictures 99% rt archives james bond 45 National Geographic ESPN hispanic Disney Channel Rocketman American Society of Cinematographers Mudbound Showtime Television Critics Association natural history travel casting discovery GoT History Super Bowl halloween tv Pride Month dceu news Toys Comics on TV diversity CBS All Access HBO Logo Kids & Family italian cooking Binge Guide remakes green book boxoffice dragons Spike First Reviews Epix Country reviews Mary Tyler Moore harry potter transformers crime drama Watching Series book ABC Family Fox News teaser Lucasfilm Winners TV Spring TV SXSW twilight TIFF movie Hallmark Christmas movies toy story Amazon Prime Video Certified Fresh 2015 Marathons Tubi Amazon Prime festival Western Thanksgiving Holidays Endgame Lifetime Rock El Rey Travel Channel romantic comedy theme song screen actors guild mutant See It Skip It renewed TV shows Reality Competition Quiz Pixar Food Network Election CMT TNT mission: impossible Marvel Television spinoff TCM chucky TCA Awards cats political drama Star Trek Hallmark Christmas Turner Classic Movies BBC Music halloween festivals ABC psycho comics indie 2019 criterion Sneak Peek CNN sports Disney Plus politics game of thrones Sundance Now 2020 Extras crime thriller adaptation Premiere Dates OneApp VH1 Comedy Anna Paquin witnail biography cinemax Superheroes Polls and Games PBS WGN kids IFC Films anime black cancelled television archives Academy Awards APB VOD crossover classics miniseries Shudder DirecTV comic south america President Schedule Musical LGBTQ Universal Dark Horse Comics golden globes Holiday 71st Emmy Awards die hard Box Office cancelled TV shows Vudu Sundance Elton John TruTV CBS Fox Searchlight police drama 2018 ID MTV breaking bad romance spanish language FXX Masterpiece strong female leads Martial Arts Song of Ice and Fire DC Universe Rocky sequels comic books Amazon doctor who YouTube E3 sag awards YA RT21 stop motion richard e. Grant E! IFC finale The Purge independent Hulu Pirates toronto RT History name the review Ovation Writers Guild of America San Diego Comic-Con football critics Syfy The Walking Dead Fall TV TCA 2017 nature Fantasy sitcom Classic Film thriller vampires social media free movies Mary poppins New York Comic Con psychological thriller Summer LGBT Ghostbusters fresh sequel Avengers Netflix Christmas movies blaxploitation what to watch CW Seed SundanceTV Ellie Kemper laika versus animated Biopics comedies Baby Yoda The CW Disney streaming service