The opening scene takes place at Omaha beach as the troop transports are approaching the shoreline. Anti-vehicular devices litter the beach. The troops are left out a few meters from the shore and half to storm the beach and take out german embankments on bluffs overlooking the shore. The American troops outnumber the Germans but are heavily outgunned. Tom Hanks is a captain that leads a group of soldiers in storming the beach. The film uses remarkable reproductions of genuine allied uniforms and real World War II era weaponry. It takes a lot of ingenuity to get up past the German line of fire and Tom Hanks’ character uses a lot of innovative thinking to get up past the beach. Most of his troops survive.
After the taking of Omaha beach, Tom Hanks is placed on a mission to locate Private James Francis Ryan, who is played by Matt Damon. In order to not spoil the plot of the movie, I won’t go into why they are looking for him. Nevertheless the troops under his command are uninterested and annoyed by the mission as the begin to lose soldiers in the search for Private Ryan.
One of the best parts of the film is the use of authentic World War II era vehicles, weaponry and even airplanes. You can catch a glimpse of what bombed out France looked like during the war and the film also presents moral dilemmas that the various characters have to face. The film is the movie equivalent of a page turner. You won’t want to pause it for a minute.
I won’t spoil the ending, but will provide a bit of information about it, so if you want to discontinue reading now, please do so. The ending battle faces the American troops against a vast group of German soldiers and Panzer tanks. The Americans use bravery and ingenuity to fight valiantly.
Do the troops located Private Ryan? If so does he make it home and survive? You will have to watch the film to find out. It is probably one of my favorite films of all time and well worth the rental price.