Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Video in ’87, DVD, 7 May 2013, 22 Feb 2016 and 12 Aug 2019)
Brief Synopsis – A young soldier in Vietnam must deal with the many different conflicts that arise during his tour of duty in 1968.
My Take on it – This is an extremely powerful and poignant look at how the war was fought by soldiers from the lower class.
Even after more than 3 decades, this film is quite gripping and harrowing to watch because they don’t try to shy away from showing the absolute brutality of both sides in this conflict.
They find a nice way to depict the way that the war was fought and we get the feel that we are right there with these soldiers as they are experiencing the famous adage – “War is Hell” over and over.
Writer/Director Oliver Stone helps make this story feel so personally the way that things are shown.
We’ll never know for sure what parts of this story are based on fact and which on fiction, but it still finds a way to make it all see so plausible and real from start to finish.
The cast is superb and features many familiar and/or famous actors as part of the cast.
Charlie Sheen shines in the lead role and allows for us to get a clear understanding of the various reasons for so much of what transpires in the film even though he wasn’t yet a well known actor when this came out.
The plot is filled with conflicts on numerous levels which allows for the story to be so complex yet still keep things grounded and interesting throughout.
The way that this film allows for us to see the diametric ideals of the characters adds an even deeper level to things as we can see the personal conflicts between some of the men that is constant and ongoing,
They develop these characters really well and we get to see their perspectives on life and on the war that they are fighting.
The war was run in a chaotic fashion and this movie allows for us to see some of that thru characters ad events that act and seem unbelievable , yet we know that they are probably true.
This movie was quite deserving of it’s 4 Oscars that included Best Picture and Best Director,
The music is great and adds a whole new dimension to things as it enhances the story even more.
Definitely among one the best Vietnam movies ever made.
Bottom Line – Amazingly powerful Vietnam film that is still harrowing and griping to watch even after 33 years. This film manages to find a way to present the war and its soldiers in such a way that we feel as if we are right there with them as they are experiencing this Hell on Earth over and over. It’s so easy to see how personal a story this was for Director Oliver Stone and although we’ll never truly know what parts are based on fact or fiction, it resonates so well throughout. Superb cast led by little known Sheen who is able to give us a very nice perspective and understanding of the reasons for and actions of this conflict. The way that the plot is able to give us diametric characters helps us try to see how much conflict there was in the war sometimes between the men themselves. The characters are all developed really well and we get a clear picture as to the way they each look at the war and life in general. We also get a view of the chaotic way that the war was run in the field and how lack of experience could cause many more lives. The music is chilling and helps add so much to this story. Very deserving of its 4 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Oliver Stone wrote the first draft of Platoon in 1971, and sent it to Jim Morrison in hopes that he would play the part Charlie Sheen would ultimately play. Morrison had the script on him when he was found dead in Paris. It is unknown whether he would have been cast, had he lived. However, Stone eventually made The Doors (1991) based on Morrison’s life. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)
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