Published on December 30th, 2006 | by Chris2
Much has been said about Oliver Stone's 1986 Platoon, culminating in a Best Picture Academy Award that year.
It's the story of young Chris (Charlie Sheen), fresh off the plane into the shit. And he winds up in all the usual Vietnam situations. Firefight in the jungle while on patrol, getting high back at base, burning up suspect villages and culminating in a huge NVA offensive against their position.
However the film's not about young Chris. At least not in my opinion. It's about the conflict between doing what's right (well, as right as it can get out there) as personified by Willem Dafoe's Elias, and the primal rage, fury, and killing nature inherent in all of us, personified by Tom Berenger's Sgt. Barnes. Chris is just an observer in all of this.
I saw Platoon when it first came out, and didn't understand it fully. Now that I (well I think anyway) get it, I wonder what all the hub-bub was about, really. Sure its a fair movie, and I'm told that its fairly spot on in its portrayal of "how things were"... but either it's just too full of the typical Vietnam war movie cliches, or it invented them and just hasn't aged well. I don't know which.
That's not to take away from the visual masterpiece that Platoon is. There's some incredible visuals here, and at times the action is pretty intense. At other times it seems almost funny-comical (i.e. when they're partying in their tent...) and comical in a not-funny way at others ("Dance! M-Fer!"... come on)
Given the importance of the film in War Movie History, I'd recommend you see it. Keep in mind the conflict between Elias and Barnes, and that there is the real drama and conflict.
Platoon - 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen)
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Winner of 4 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, and based on the first-hand experience of Oscar®-winning director Oliver Stone, Platoon is powerful, intense and starkly brutal. "Harrowingly realistic and completely convincing" (Leonard Maltin), it is "a dark, unforgettable memorial" (The Washington Post) to every soldier whose innocence was lost in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
- Charlie Sheen
- Tom Berenger
- Willem Dafoe
- Keith David
- Forest Whitaker
Summary: Given the importance of the film in War Movie History, I'd recommend you see it. Keep in mind the conflict between Elias and Barnes, and that there is the real drama and conflict.