In The Line of Duty - Ambush in Waco


Reviewed by: Gabriella Trybalska

As part of the In The Line Of Duty series, Ambush In Waco tells the true-life story of the 1993 disaster in which a religious group, The Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, killed themselves after being surrounded by the police for a staggering 51 days.

The film charts the rise of Koresh as the fanatical "prophet", who recruits members, such as the reluctant Adrian (William O'Leary), to the sect's purpose-built compound in Waco, Texas. Here, he instructs his followers in The Bible, as well as weapon training. Disturbingly, the children are also taught how to shoot themselves should the time come. In the end, it is an allegation of child abuse that catches the attention of the police, leading them to an attempted arrest of the group and confiscation of their weapons.

There is no award-winning acting here. Nonetheless, Tim Daly puts in a somewhat convincing performance as the all-singing, all-praying Koresh. Dan Lauria, better known for his role in The Wonder Years, contributes as one of the agents in charge of the operation. O'Leary plays a convert who turns against The Leader and is partially responsible for his downfall.

There is no other way of saying it, but this ain't a feel-good movie. The ending is true to what happened on the 28th of February, when the FBI staged a raid on the compound and four policemen were killed. The remaining events of the 19th April, when fire broke out and swept through the building, killing most of Koresh's followers, is not put on the screen. The film points towards that direction in a way that only a TV movie, such as this, can - by the use of voice-over.

In short, Ambush In Waco is not for the light-hearted. It is a serious interpretation of an event that shocked the world.

Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2002
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In The Line of Duty - Ambush in 
Waco packshot
A fanatical religious group takes their own lives in a horrific fire in Waco, Texas, as the world watches.
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Director: Dick Lowry

Writer: Phil Penningworth

Starring: Tim Daly, Dan Lauria, William O'Leary, Neal McDonough, Lewis Smith, Debra Jo Rupp, Jeri Ryan

Year: 1993

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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