Published on January 31st, 2007 | by Chris2
Apocalypse Now: Redux (1979/2001)
Few movies could pull off opening with those two words. Apocalypse Now *is* that movie. Period.
Apocalypse Now:Redux is a "director's cut" of sorts which puts back several scenes / episodes into the film that were dropped from its initial 1979 release. Additionally it puts back the original ending.
A.N. is the story of one already-unstable Captain Willard (played by Martin Sheen) and his top-secret mission to "terminate the command" of one Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has gone stark raving mad and disappeared into the jungles of Cambodia.
Of course most of the film isn't so much about that, as it is about getting there, and how Willard prepares himself (and events prepare *him*) to meet this madman.
Along the way we're exposed to a lot of general madness. A gung-ho surfer-dude Colonel in search of the perfect break, tigers in the bush, Playboy bunnies, the battle for a bridge that has gone completely out of control, what should be a routine riverboat insepction, native spear and arrow attacks...
... and in this release a couple of other deviations, namely the re-appearance of the aforementioned bunnies at a more-or-less abandoned "wild west" station, and the discovery of a group of French colonials defending their "plantation" in the midst of the war, complete with proper table settings.
I'm not sure putting these scenes back in was a good idea. A lot of times the "director's cut" of a film rings truer to the original "vision" of a film. If that's the case here, then its probably for the best that these scenes were dropped. While the original "episodes" served to illustrate the madness of war, and prepare Willard somewhat for his final encounter, these two additions just don't make much sense at all. The re-visited bunnies scene just comes across as twisted and morbid, and the French colonials just a boring sidestep. I can somewhat understand the reasoning behind that bit being filmed, but the first? It's just too "out there", even for this movie.
Of course eventually he and the remaining personnel on board "PBR Streetgang" finally meet up with Kurtz, and the journey towards madness is complete. For both Kurtz and Willard. The insanity of Kurtz is played brilliantly by Brando here. And if nothing else, Dennis Hopper's short performance as the just-plain-weird photographer under Kurtz's spell is nothing short of genius.
I'm not going to spoil the ending, but the superimposition of the native's sacrifice with Willard's execution of his duties gets the message across. Loud and clear.
The "fixing" of the final scenes in this version also tells us what happened to Willard. The original it wasn't quite clear if he made it out before... well, I guess you'll have to see both to find out.
Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier (Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now Redux)
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I love the smell of a collector's edition in the morning. Everyone's favorite Joseph Conrad adaptation gets the fancy packaging and extras treatment with this release of Apocalypse Now - The Complete Dossier...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Original Release Date:
- Martin Sheen
- Marlon Brando
- Robert Duvall
- Frederic Forrest
- Laurence Fishburne
Summary: A lot of times the "director's cut" of a film rings truer to the original "vision" of a film. If that's the case here, then its probably for the best that these scenes were dropped.