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Gary Sinise narrates this exciting, harrowing tale of one of WWII's most notorious military undertakings...
Acorn Media / 176 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: February 19, 2013
Missions That Changed the War: The Doolittle Raid is history military TV programming at its most blatantly addictive. For those of us who had marginal knowledge of the 1942 attack from high school history and how it played into the war, these four episodes are both slightly familiar and wonderfully rich in information: it takes the glorified blurb of vague scholastic memory and turns it into marvelous entertainment.
Much of this has to be contributed to the reliable gravitas of Gary Sinise’s narration. There may not be anything specifically nuanced going on here in terms of artistic endeavor, but Sinise’s deep voice nevertheless makes the events at hand here seem of deep importance – even the marginalia associated with the Doolittle Raid feels like imperative drama of the highest regard.
This may not be the kind of TV-on-DVD set that even history buffs return to with frequency, but as a one-time viewing experience, Missions That Changed the War: The Doolittle Raid is unquestionably engaging. Featuring interviews with surviving members, in-depth analysis of the engineering that went into the planning of the thing, and an innately soaring wartime narrative, this is excellent escapist documentary fare.