Christian Bale, left, and Steve Zahn in “Rescue Dawn,” a feature written and directed by Werner Herzog.
By MATT ZOLLER SEITZ
Published: July 4, 2007
So does Mr. Herzog’s movie, which reimagines his 1997 documentary, “Little Dieter Needs to Fly,” as a drama of imprisonment, survival and perseverance. Although financed independently, it superficially resembles the likes of “Papillon” and “The Great Escape.” With its straightforward narrative, which observes Dengler being shot down during his first mission over Laos; surviving torture, isolation, confinement and starvation; and hatching a daring breakout, “Rescue Dawn” seems a departure from Mr. Herzog’s “Aguirre, The Wrath of God,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Grizzly Man” and other cautionary tales of visionary madmen.