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Category:    Home > Reviews > Telefilm > Ambush In Waco (Telefilm)

In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco (Telefilm)


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


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