In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco
Picture: C Sound: C+
Extras: C+ Film: C
Some people are still
familiar with the events that went down in Waco as David Koresh led his Branch Davidians into
battle as a standoff with the AFT. This
is one of those stories that also contains a few mysteries under its belt as
there is the ‘real’ story, then there’s the ‘news version’ and then there is
the political explanation for the events.
All of these seem to have some similarities and also some differences.
Of course wherever there
is a hot news story there must also be that made-for-TV movie version in order
to enlighten the world on the events in a more cinematic way. Those of us that watched day after day of the
incident hardly want to see it portrayed, but there is something about the
American public that just loves watching these things acted out. Why?
Who knows! We glamorize bad guys
just as much as the real heroes. If you
look back at the tragedies that have plagued our nation you will find more
enemy names remembered than victors.
In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco was released very shortly after the actual ending
of the standoff and followed the blueprint for how to beg sympathy from the
American people. Not that I am in favor
or what Koresh was doing, but just tell the story instead of trying to make it
one sided. People fall for the one-sided
stories all the time and never question certain intentions. Not only that, but this minimized are ability
to just think about it for ourselves, then create a particular reaction. Two perfect examples that I can think of are
in Oliver Stones work with JFK
(1991) and Nixon (1995), both
perfect examples of how the story was told as much as it could be, and then a
reaction time is allotted for the viewer to come to a certain conclusion of
their own on how to feel. You are not
going to get that here though!
While this production
might not be overly terrible and even those that are really into this type of
material, how many times can you actually go back and watch it? Needless to say that its release onto DVD
most likely had a few curious heads turn, but does that have the ability to
administer further interest? Carlton has released the program with a few nice perks
that could justify some interest.
The film is presented in
its original TV broadcast ratio of 1.33 X 1 and looks pretty grainy and shows
some real age, despite it not really being that old. This certainly demonstrates the weakness of
TV video in comparison to real film stock.
There is a whole series of these In The
Line of Duty programs that all seem one sided and like to add glory where
it is either seldom needed or seldom wanted.
As American’s know, there is nothing wrong with recognizing our heroes,
but it gets to a point where it becomes tiring, clichéd, and pathetic. Sadly enough it takes events like 9/11 for us
to become Patriotic, but how many flags do you still see waiving now that some
time has passed?
Ambush in Waco also comes with two audio options with the one being the films
soundtrack in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo and the other is the commentary with
Director Dick Lowry and lead actor Tim Daly.
Let’s just say that this is one of those gimmick commentaries that was
provided simply out of plight in order to try and add appeal, but in reality
most people are not going to want to listen to this.
Be weary of this film,
certainly some will enjoy, but the risk factor is heavy!
- Nate Goss