[[caption-width-right:350:"[[TagLine In the most important mission of their lives, they're going back to get their buddies who were left behind.]]"]]
''Uncommon Valor'' is a 1983 war film directed by Ted Kotcheff, starring Creator/GeneHackman, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Robert Stack (yes [[Series/UnsolvedMysteries that]] [[{{Transformers}} Robert Stack]]), Creator/RebBrown (yes [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica that]] Reb Brown), and a post-''Film/{{The Outsiders}}'', pre-''Film/DirtyDancing'' Creator/PatrickSwayze.

It is UsefulNotes/{{the Eighties}}, and Col. Jason Rhodes (Hackman), a [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korean war]] veteran, is haunted by the loss of his son, Frank, who has been Missing In Action [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar since 1972]]. After a [[AdultFear particularly disturbing]] [[BadDreams nightmare]], he decided to take action. He [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections petitions the government and all of his military contacts]] to no avail, eventually being [[ReluctantRetiree forceably retired for being a nuisance]]. What's a PapaWolf to do? Team up with the father of another MIA, now an oil magnate (Stack) for finances and recruit your son's former squadmates, drill them into a precise military unit with the help of a young Marine Kevin Scott (Swayze), and send them back to the war they've been trying to escape for the last 10 years.

The second half of the film chronicles their arrival in Thailand, [[ExecutiveMeddling scuffles with the CIA]] (who don't want an armed incursion setting off the delicate political situation), and run-ins with corrupt soldiers, arms dealers, and the final assault on the POW camp in Laos.

''Uncommon Valor'' came out before ''Film/RamboFirstBloodPartII'', which [[DuelingMovies dealt with the same issue]]. ''Uncommon Valor'' was directed by Ted Kotcheff, who previously made the original ''Film/FirstBlood''.

[[SimilarlyNamedWorks Has nothing to do with the]] Music/JediMindTricks song, though both of the song and the movie deals with the Vietnam War.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AcePilot: Johnson and Charts, though Charts fits the hotshot role better.
* ActionGirl: Lai Fun, and to a lesser extent, her sister.
* AuditThreat: Used on Mac Gregor. Failed epicly.
* BadassCrew: Everyone in the team, save Kevin, is a veteran soldier who survived Vietnam. They are not anyone's pushovers.
* BerserkButton: Go on. Tell Sailor he's got no respect for himself.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Rhodes's son died of illness several years before in the very camp they found. He is too late to save his son, but finds Macgregor's son and three others for whom the war is now over. Also, one member of the team dies for every POW they rescue.]]
* BoisterousBruiser: Sailor can get rowdy and party; he also dances, and he can kick anyone's ass as the BigGuy of the team.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: The team started out with AR-15s and other modern weapons, which were promptly confiscated by local authorities upon arrival in SE Asia, thanks to the CIA. The solution? Find a shady black marketeer who's sitting on a pile of WWII-era M1 Garands, M1918 [=BARs=], and Tommy Guns, and is perfectly happy to give these old American guns back to the Americans, for the right price.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Inverted, as it's the veteran Sailor who calls out the much younger Scott. Scott is [[BringIt confident]] and leaps at the chance to show off his Kung Fu, [[PunchPunchPunchUhOh but it doesn't]] [[CurbStompBattle go well]] [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass for him]].
* CasanovaWannabe: Charts hits on anything that moves. He even tries to sneak up and, erm, snuggle with ActionGirl Lai Fun. It [[GirlWithPsychoWeapon doesn't]] [[KnifeNut go]] [[MexicanStandoff well]].
* ChainsawGood: Sailor manages to find a chainsaw on their practice run through the mock-up village. He takes out a cardboard cut-out guard with it.
* ChekhovsGun: Sailor's hand grenade, [[spoiler:used by him in a HeroicSacrifice]].
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Sailor, of the drug-addled variety, at least when we first meet him. He pulls himself together once it's explained why Rhodes is doing this, but only to a given value of together.
--> ''"Man, I'm so far beyond that shit, man... I can pull energy from the AIR. I can talk to polar bears, I converse with paramecium, man, I '''FUCKED''' NUCLEAR WASTE."''
* CoolOldGuy / BadassGrandpa:
** Xiang, the drug dealer who supplies the mission, and then comes along to man the recoilless rifle and be awesome.
** Rhodes qualifies, both as a capable leader, and as an anti-personnel sniper.
* DeadpanSnarker: During one of the exercises, the team must make it through the forest to the tower, without being tagged by Wilkes. Wilkes not only systematically takes them apart, using traps, positioning and tactics, but ''hangs a customised sign on each of them to make them look stupid''. Can you be a snarker without speaking?
* DescriptionPorn: Wilkes explains how to shiv someone quietly:
--> ''"You come in low under his line of sight. You leap... taking him down, placing your hand over his nose, pulling his face away from you. At the base of his skull, to the right of the spine, into what the Chinese call the Wind Gate. You insert, scramble the brains. What you have is instant rag doll."''
* DesolationShot: The team travels through the remains of a village whose every inhabitant was killed by mustard gas.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Scott tries to be this early in the veteran's re-training. It doesn't work, as the men see him as TheNeidermeyer, when the situation is actually [[spoiler:that his father was a pilot shot down in Vietnam, and this is Kevin's way of coming to terms with his loss.]]
* HellishCopter: [[spoiler:Charts' helicopter gets shot down by a Laotian patrol boat, however he survived the crash]].
* HeroicBSOD:
** Wilkes killed a civilian by accident in a tunnel and was stuck in there for hours. This led to his claustrophobia and disconnection from life.
** Scott after [[spoiler:Blaster is killed and Chart's helicopter is shot down. It sends him berserk and screaming out of cover charging a gunboat by himself to save Charts.]]
* HeroicSacrifice:
** Rhodes' son Frank was captured after stopping to retreive Macgregor's son and carrying the injured man to the helicopter.
** [[spoiler:Blaster dies manually detonating the explosives that take out the bridge after they misfire.]]
** [[spoiler:Sailor blows himself up with his grenade after being fatally shot, taking out a tower and a whole bunch of enemy soldiers.]]
* HeroStoleMyBike: ''"Wilkes, we need transportation." "Buy it, or borrow it?" "'''Steal''' the fucker!"''
* UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar[=/=]UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: Rhodes and Macgregor are veterans of the former, and the rest of the team are veterans of the latter.
* MadBomber: Blaster. Oh my. At one point he even starts ''cackling insanely'' when it seems he'll surpass his record of a break or "series of planned explosions".
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: The team is supposed to be training in Galveston, Texas, with mountains in the background. Galveston is on an island just off the Texas coast, and is either cities, beach, or wetlands. No mountains for hundreds of miles.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Robert Stack's character, [=MacGregor=], is a millionaire oil tycoon from Texas who bankrolls the operation to retrieve the [=POWs=]. He is based on Ross Perot, a real-life millionaire oil tycoon from Texas who in the early 1980s financed private investigations into possible American prisoners still being held in Vietnam.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Pretty much every higher-up that comes into contact with Rhodes. He is forced into retirement because he continues to pester the government about finding his son, and the team has to make do with UsefulNotes/WorldWarII-era equipment because the CIA tips off the Vietnamese government about the mission because they don't want the team to cause political trouble (although the CIA agent that informs them of this is sympathetic enough to allow the team to go and plead to them to go home, which allows them to go and purchase said weapons and continue the mission anyway).
* PaperThinDisguise: Putting a hat and a poncho over Randall "Tex" Cobb doesn't disguise that it's Randall "Tex" Cobb travelling through Laos.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: Sailor gets three in a row:
** ''"Now, asshole. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis RIGHT! NOW!]]"''
** ''"Boy... you just bought the '''whole can''' of '''WHOOP-ASS!'''" *cue FoeTossingCharge*''
** ''*after being thrown** Boy, usin' that Oriental martial bullshit on me is gonna get REAL expensive." *cue [[CurbstompBattle stomping]]*''
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: Rhodes' recruitment of the scattered veterans. Subverted slightly in that they initally all turn him down bar [[MadBomber Blaster]] and [[TheBigGuy Sailor]] (who they had to dig out of prison), but all show up when the plane is ready to leave.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Blaster, while a MadBomber in war, was a slacker in peacetime who never cared about anything, and spent his time racing [=BMXs=] and goofing around. When the bombs on the bridge failed to detonate, he sacrificed himself to make sure his part of the plan went through.]]
** [[spoiler:Sailor, who got to the helicopter that left Frank behind, and had to be physically restrained from going back for Frank, got to buy time for Rhodes to get back to the helicopter with a [=POW=], thus bookending the film.]]
* RetiredBadass: All of the team members.
* ScreamingWarrior[=/=]ShoutingShooter: Surprisingly enough, averted with Blaster, [[Creator/RebBrown considering who played him]].
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Rhodes is told by every member of the military he talks to that he should give up. He, at one point, declared that'd he'd go in there with a pocketknife if he had to.
** [=MacGregor=], even in his noncombatant role, is told that there were serious threats against his company if he went through with the mission, such as IRS audits. His response? ''[[PrecisionFStrike "Fuck you."]]''
* SecurityBlanket: Sailor's grenade. ''"Well, Sailor figures if life gets too shitty, he'd just pull the pin, and see what's next."''
** played completely serious with one of the [=POWs=]: [[spoiler:when Sailor breaks down the door to take him home, the POW, who's so weak he can barely lift his head to speak, refuses to leave because he can't leave "The garden". Sailor expediates matters by reassuring him ''"Don't worry. We'll take the garden with us."'']]
* ShellShockedVeteran: All of the main characters to some extent, but Wilkes is the best example of the trope, burnt out to the point where he spent days staring at the walls, making disturbing industrial art, and can't sleep through the night indoors. Admittedly, he was a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_rat_%28military%29 tunnel rat]] and [[NightmareFuel what made]] [[ShootTheDog him this way]]? Brr.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: Scott's reaction to the first enemy soldier he kills during the battle at the Laotian border.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee / ImpossibleMissionCollapse: The team plans the raid to perfection (with the capacity to pull it off in a minute and a half of a maximum of three that Rhodes thinks they have before they are swamped with enemy reinforcements), it was supposed to be at night, and was supposed to be a blitzkrieg that would have them all gat out of there unharmed alongside the soldiers. Everything goes to hell the moment they put boots on Vietnamese ground because of the CIA, and although the plan works even with improvisation and old weapons... well, look up on BittersweetEnding for details.
* WhatAreYouInFor: When Rhodes goes to find Sailor, he's in prison. Well, IN prison, but not under arrest: he [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "blow-torched a local kingpin biker"]] so the local cops are holding him in Witness Protection for his own good.
* WheresTheKaboom: The explosives planted to destroy the bridge in order to cut off enemy reinforcements misfire, forcing Blaster to [[spoiler:make a HeroicSacrifice to manually detonate them]].
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: played straight with the claustrophobic former tunnel rat Wilkes being forced by circumstance to explore a drain into the [=POW camp=].
* WretchedHive: The Blue Parrot bar, complete with slimy maitre d, patrons firing guns into the ceiling to the music, the menus being lists of weaponry, and the basement being a huge warehouse of guns.