Windtalkers is a 2002 military film directed by John Woo about the Navajo Code Talkers in the Pacific front of World War II.Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage) is given the job of protecting a Navajo code talker named Ben. Because the code must not be broken, Joe's orders are to kill Ben should he fall into enemy hands. The movie mostly follows the Battle of Saipan.The film got bad reviews and did not perform well at the box office.
Bottomless Magazines: Reloading? You're kidding, right? This trope is going to absurd levels with Joe's Thompson. Even if he's the only character ever seen reloading, his clips holds a few times more than they should.
When in desperate need of a radio, Yahtzee recalls how Chick said that Indians look almost Japanese when not in uniform to excuse almost killing Yahtzee. The squad promptly starts to collect Japanese uniforms.
Later in the film Ben mocks his own words toward Joe. First time, he assured Joe that following orders is the most important thing to do, even more important than saving your friends. But when he learns that Joe is ordered to kill him in case of risking capture, he berates him for mindlessly following orders.
Conflict Ball: The Windtalkers knew how important they were - so much so that they needed a babysitter to keep them safe - but Ben is shocked that among Joe's orders are ones to kill him should he fall into enemy hands.
Death Seeker: Joe was the last man standing after his unit got slaughtered, because he insisted that they must obey their orders and hold their ground. It's haunted him ever since, to the point where he's one step from being outright suicidal.
Determinator: Joe. Give him an order. He will do anything to fulfill it.
Hidden Depths: Joe. Sure, he is a killing machine with serious problems, but outside the battlefield he's really a nice guy. Even toward nominal enemies, as shown with the sick kid to whom he gave his pain-killers.
Plot Armor: Subverted. Until the attack on the village, everything seems to follow this trope, with heroes going through impossible situations. After that scene, Anyone Can Die.
Poor Communication Kills: There was really no reason to withhold the information from the Windtalkers that their babysitters were supposed to kill them should they fall into enemy hands. It wasn't like the windtalkers didn't already know how important they were. Heck, if things were that dangerous, they should have already been trained how best to take themselves out before the enemy gets to them.
Reckless Sidekick: During their last fight Ben is so enraged that he basically endangers his whole squad by going berserk.
Very Loosely Based on a True Story: There were Navajo code talkers, and they really were instrumental in the Pacific Theater,note Adolf Hitler had served in World War I and knew the Allies had used similar code talkers in that war - he sent covert agents to study Native American dialects before the United States entered the war. Knowing this, the US did not use the Navajo code talkers in Europe but the characters in this movie are all fictional.
At least the posters say "inspired by" rather than "based on".
War Is Hell: As far as Hollywood allows, this trope is taken to the extreme. Mutilation of bodies, everyone dropping dead like slaughtered animals, extensive use of banzai charges, accidental friendly fire, Mercy Kills for friends...