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Windtalkers

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Nicolas Cage, Windtalkers
Windtalkers: Stephen Vaughn

Last month’s medal of honor ceremony in D.C. was just the beginning of the attention due the Marine Corps’ ”code talkers,” Navajo soldiers who used their language to thwart Japanese translation attempts during WWII. Now comes the Hollywood treatment. Nicholas Cage stars as a leatherneck ordered to serve as bodyguard to code talker Adam Beach. The conflict? Part of Cage’s job is to kill his charge if he’s in danger of being captured. ”Just when we’re becoming friends, I learn of his duty, and it changes my point of view of the war,” says Beach (”Smoke Signals”). ”I feel betrayed.”

The somber story forced director John Woo (”Mission: Impossible 2”) to adjust his turbocharged style. ”It’s not like what I used to be,” he says, ”a lot of extreme slow motion, or the guy shooting two guns. I want the audience to be more involved, to make them feel they are in the battlefield.” But what’s with the title? ”The code talkers called themselves windtalkers,” says Woo. But is that clear in the film? ”No,” he answers. ”Yeah, you’re right, maybe I should try to find a way to explain it.”