Windtalkers (2002)


Windtalkers is a 2002 action war film directed by John Woo. Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater star as two US Marine sergeants assigned to protect Navajo code talkers (Adam Beach and Roger Willie) in Saipan during World War II.


World War II Cpl. Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage) after becoming almost deaf in one ear a year earlier while trying to save a buddy, returns to active duty with a little help from a sympathetic pharmacist (Frances O'Connor). His first assignment is to protect Navajo code talker Pvt. Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach). Sgt. Ox Anderson (Christian Slater) receives a parallel assignment protecting Navajo code talker Pvt. Charlie Whitehorse (Roger Willie). Yahzee and Whitehorse send and receive coded messages that direct battleship bombardments of Japanese land positions. Enders and Anderson are told that the code cannot fall into enemy hands and to kill the code talkers if they are captured. This is Yahzee and Whitehorse's first combat experience. After the beachhead is secured, the Marines comes under friendly fire by American artillery. Yahzee's radio is destroyed and the convoy is unable to call off the bombardment. Still without the ability to communicate and American artillery shells raining down on them, Yahzee is disguised as a Japanese soldier and sent behind enemy lines in search of a radio. Yahzee has to kill a Japanese radioman before he can redirect American artillery fire onto the Japanese position. Yahzee is sent back to headquarters and that night the Marines make camp in a village that is later attacked. During the fight Anderson, who had been guarding Whitehorse, is decapitated and Whitehorse is about to be captured by the Japanese. Enders saw Whitehorse as he was beaten by the Japanese. Enders tries to shoot the Japanese with his pistol, but ran out of ammo. Enders selects a grenade as Whitehorse nods, permitting Enders to throw a grenade in order to protect the code. The grenade killed Whitehorse and the captive Japanese. Yahzee returns to the front-line and, after learning that Enders killed Whitehorse, attempts to shoot him. The Marines are then ambushed near a minefield, yet are able to fight their way out to a ridge. At the top of the ridge, Japanese artillery firing on American troops. Still angry over Whitehorse, Yahzee attacks the Japanese fearlessly, and in so doing, fumbles the radio needed to call in bombardments. Yahzee and Enders are shot as they both attempt to retrieve the radio . Enders manages to carry Yahzee to safety after taking a shot in the chest. With his last breath Enders confesses he hated having to kill Whitehorse, yet had to protect the code. Back in the U.S., Yahzee, his wife and son sit on top of the John Ford's Point mesa in Monument Valley, Arizona, and perform the Navajo ritual of paying respects to the man who saved his life.