ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY Last Days in Vietnam★★★★ 9.00-10.35pm BBC4
In January 1973, President Richard Nixon announced that US troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam, bringing what he called “peace with honour”. As a result, one witness in this bracing documentary recalls, “the house of cards began to collapse”. Director Rory Kennedy (Ghosts of Abu Ghraib) maps the end days in a clear-headed fashion, with testimony from political heavyweights like former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Defense Attaché Richard Armitage, as well as South Vietnamese civilians. Newsreel is fulsome but the US Embassy is depicted in 3D computer graphics to help us vividly relive the fall of Saigon, which is as tense as a thriller.
It’s a case of who’s conning who when the gun industry is put on trial because of a maniac’s shooting spree. Gene Hackman is the jury fixer, Dustin Hoffman the crusading lawyer, but whose side are John Cusack and Rachel Weisz on?
Brian De Palma’s classic original is hard to surpass, but this remake still has a good stab at telling the story of how a telekinetic teenager (Kick Ass’s Chloe Grace Moretz) takes revenge on her cruel classmates.