Bat*21 is the story of Lt. Col. Iceal “Ham” Hambleton, a weapons countermeasure expert who, while taking part in a recon mission, was shot down in the jungles of Vietnam. The movie is based on a true story, and Lt. Col. Hambleton himself was a consultant on the film, so presumably the basics of the film were accurate. Peter Markle directed the 1988 film, and Gene Hackman was cast as Hambleton.
After his plane is shot down, Hambleton is the sole survivor of the incident. Complicating his recovery is an unusually high amount of activity from the Viet Cong, making it too risky for military helicopters to make a landing. What’s worse, his recon mission was to plan out an aerial assault that is still scheduled to be made; if he doesn’t make it out of the area quickly, he’s likely to be blown up in friendly fire. His sole support for most of the film is radio contact with pilot Capt. Bartholomew “Bird Dog” Clark (Danny Glover). Continue reading