Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Caution: This film is not for the faint of heart.

Oliver Stone's, Platoon (1986), transports the viewer into the jungle of the Vietnam war in the year 1967. The film focuses on the experience of Chris Taylor, an intelligent young man who, despite his parents wishes, dropped out of college to serve his country. However, what he found in Vietnam was far from what he had imagined. Stone does a fantastic job of depicting the horrors of the Vietnam War and the reality that sometimes the toughest enemies are your own men.

The film is obviously not set in the 80's, however it stars some big 80's actors, such as the young Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and Forest Whitaker. The subject of the Vietnam War, which was considered to be taboo in the 1970's, came to prevalence in the 1980's with films like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and the Missing in Action trilogy. The film purposefully focuses on the negative aspects of the war, such as war crimes and the deplorable conditions in which the soldiers lived, in order to convey a disdainful message regarding war. Despite the bleak nature of the film, it remains to be one of the most influential war films of all time.

I would not recommend the film to anyone with a weak stomach or sensitivity to violence, however for advocates of films such as Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot, this film is for you.

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