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
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Vietnam like it was,
This review is from: Platoon (Amazon Video)When I saw Platoon the first time I had trouble staying still. It seemed every five minutes, or so something on the screen would remind me of Nam. Finally, the last part of the movie , where they were overrun, I had to leave. My body was re-acting to the night, to the LP getting killed and the words of Vietnamese the North Vietnamese were yelling became too much. I started flashing back, because we had been overrun during TET68. My girlfriend stayed with me and at last got me calmed down( along with the Lorazepam my psychiatrist gave me) and we left.
It wasn't until the third time I watched it that I could sit all the way through, still wasn't easy. When you're overrun, just like the movie, you're filled with( what I called) Bloodlust! You are killing everything that doesn't look like an American. I don't have a lot of memories about it except for snippets of individual actions I was in. It's mass confusion and, like the movie, when the commanding officer expected that his... Read more
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Platoon (DVD)
Besides Apocalypse Now I cannot watch other VN era movies. There are no bad scenes or actors whose roles aren't fittingly defined and then portrayed. The Cherry, The Lifers. the LT caught between a rock and a hard place, The shorttimer, who is only getting shorter. The Kiss Ass getting his just desserts and the unspoken heroism of the everyday joe pulling or not pulling his weight. It's movie IMO that any veteran can immediately warm too. Who can forget the first day out of boot, getting immediately deployed. The sense of purpose and willingness. All rent asunder. A great movie. Anyone that's been forward deployed will immediately warm to this. Those that never served will get a taste from the portrayed experiences. As good as it gets.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Platoon has become a classic war movie like Saving Private Ryan,
This review is from: Platoon (Amazon Video)Platoon has become a classic war movie like Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, and Flags of Our Fathers. It is still as emotionally engulfing and relevant today as it was when it was first released in 1986 when I first saw it. So what is the legacy of this Academy Award winning film for Best Picture. The Vietnam soldiers portrayed by Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Forrest Whitaker, Reggie Johnson, Kevin Dillion and John C. McGinley are all vivid and memorable. The jungle cinematography, battle scenes and heavy, ominous musical score is still as riveting today as it was thirty years ago. So, its acting, directing, cinematography, and musical score ranks it in the top 10 war films of all time.
Back when this movie was first released, many people viewed it as an "unpatriotic, anti-war" movie. But now in retrospect, Oliver Stone was paying tribute to the common field soldier who had to endure a tragic existence in a war that is now... Read more
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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.