Parents' Guide to

Battle for Saipan

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Fact-based WWII action movie is dull, problematic, bloody.

Movie R 2022 94 minutes
Battle for Saipan Movie: Poster

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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This true story is certainly worthy of a good movie, but the one we actually get here, hampered by a low budget, baffling choices, and general going-through-the-motions filmmaking, isn't it. Battle for Saipan opens with some narration -- "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead," etc. -- from the Bible's Book of Corinthians. Then partway in, just in case, a character reads the quote again on screen. Finally, it's repeated yet again over the closing credits so no one misses it. The movie's first 10 minutes have three examples of clichéd war movie dialogue (including "watch your six" used twice), and the major character introductions are numbingly familiar. Only Fahey's enormous clump of floofy, gray chest hair, plumping out of his half-unbuttoned uniform, commands any attention.

The battle scenes are bloody but equally dull, taking place in what's supposed to be a hospital but at times looks like an abandoned warehouse or a back alley somewhere. The spaces never seem to fit with each other, and characters don't seem to fit within the spaces. (In one scene, characters merely stand stock-still while armed invaders pour into the room.) In another sequence, nurses are ordered to run around the facility to "find anything we can use." We see them frantically doing this, and then ... nothing. The things they found are never used. There's also the usual dialogue about "back home" accompanied by sappy music, and the usual weepy bedside scene. It's a shame, because this story has the makings of a much better movie, one that would better honor its heroes. Battle for Saipan is merely missing in action.

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