I think the film did a great job reflecting the attitudes about Vietnam that Americans had at the time. Most of the characters are just out of high school, drafted soldiers, while the main character, Chris, has some college and on arrival fees separated from the group by the way he talks. We see the expendables, the hardened foot soldiers that use marijuana and dehumanize the enemy. We know they have to in order to justify killing them. By portraying the process Oliver Stone is both commenting on the overall cruelness of growing up in any war, and how the Vietnam War was so different from WWI and WWII both in geography and strategy. The sense of unease the men have comes from the newness of the situation and the intimacy of guerilla warfare. Stone wanted accuracy in the performance for the weariness and the closeness to death that really comes across in the movie.
William Defoe was awesome, while Charlie Sheen was just alright for me. I think he played the good guy to stoic, but he really come out of his shell when the platoon goes into to village and deals with the people and then goes back in once he has to play the good guy again. Charlie Sheen was not made to run around in the woods being racist. He does a good enough job in his part but he honestly looks much more believable as a business man or whatever he is on Two and a Half Men. I also may be scared for life at the amount of insects in this film.