on June 14, 2004
While everytime a Nam film is released most people look for the WHAT A LOST CAUSE or OH THE HUMANITY HOW AWFUL aspects and then pile on words like HEART WRENCHING and POWERFUL to make every single Nam film seem like a sad journy into, whatever. Do not be fooled here, for this film is about men who kill and enjoy it, sadly the film's central character is a sometimes unrealistic whiney rich kid who cries a lot but ends up kicking tons of arse in the end. I would have much liked to see the film from Tom Berenger's characters point of view, it would have been far more fun just to watch him and his goons go around shooting people for no reason.
And make no bones about it, this is where the real entertainment lies in is watching people get shot in this movie and then the characters make macho speeches and remarks, like it or not this film wants you to enjoy what you're seeing and it works because so many people revisit it. The combat scenes are intense and contains plenty of scenes of insane screaming people shooting people in the face and crushing skulls in with the butt of their rifles. The most hilarious scene in the film comes when the troops march into a village and beat the living crap out of everyone, smash in a retarded kid's head (LOOK AT THEM BRAINS, I would have liked to see the brains, MPAA wusses out again), blow an old lady away and there's even a rape of a girl who can't be past the age of 13. Watching Charlie Sheen's wimpy character try to be MR.PEACE around all these mighty buttkicking savages is pathetic and hilarious. Another great scene comes when Berenger blows away Willem Dafoe, who despite being really cool by doing lots of drugs to escape reality (actually, drinking would help that more, weed isn't nearly as good, and Oliver Stone does TONS of drugs) tries to rat Berenger out for having a little fun. The film comes to its close after a cool battle where lots of people get blown up Sheen blows Berenger's guts out, not knowing that he is now the true badass.
Overall this is a MAN's movie that is extremely hilarious and fun to watch, I never understood any of the DRAMATIC or SAD scenes or even noticed them, the use of classical music during Dafoe's hilarious death scene is used just as Monty Python would have. No doubt you don't like my review already but consider just how funny alot of the scenes are, and they're meant to be, despite Stone trying to recapture his preaching/shockingly realistic feel he got with Salvador, which was actually horrifying to watch, the scenes in this film are just that, scenes in a movie made to entertain.
On the surface, a dramatic war masterpiece, on the inside, a black comedy for Sam Peckinpah fans who like to watch people get shot by cool guys who cuss and drink alot. This film went on the spawn the worst NES game EVER made.
on July 14, 2004
very very enjoyable flick, mainly because it reminded me of FMJ(full metal jacket) and the humor was pretty good too. i might have preferred this film a little better if charlie s. wasnt in it but he actualy didnt do that bad of a job one part i found hysterical was that johnny depp has a part in it. with short blonde hair and he just is walking by then gets blown up. this film should deffinalty be in a war collects colection.
on January 24, 2005
This is the best war film ever. It is a lot better than Apocalypse Now which is overrated. Platoon is more ralistic and entertaining and Apocalyspse Now is on for to long.
on September 13, 2001
The fact that "Platoon" could be treated as Godspell regarding the Vietnam War is a sad commentary on the reading habits,single mindedness and stubborn resistance to evaluate and re-evaluate history.
So many GOOD books offered here in Amazon!Rather than read what the new understanding of the Vietnam experience is -in particular related to the US servicepersons - we choose to obtain knowledge from a film that uses the power of image,sound and dramatic manipulation to present a distorted view of the Vietnam War hoping to advance a political viewpoint.
No serious Vietnam War/Military History/US History scholar considers "Platoon" as "Vietnam as it really was".For example, Stephen Ambrose refute the idea put forward by movies and some books like "Platoon" of the dope smoking, baby killing green machine.In fact as time passes,more facts come to light and political axes stop being grinded, it is predicted that a new more accurate portrayal of the Vietnam War fighting man will emerge in movies.
Robert Hemphill in his book " Platoon: Bravo Company " dispels all the lies and exagerations in Oliver Stone's portrayal" Platoon".Hemphill was none other than the company commander of the unit shown in Stone's movie.The 25th Infantry Division's veterans of the Tropic Lightning Association including those who served under Hemphill have disavowed that movie.
Granted....special effects and the technical advisement of Dale Dye(Saving Private Ryan,Band of Brothers and many more)made this movie very realistic in the way combat was depicted and actors were made to look as if they were humping the boonies.Thats it.
Thanks to Amazon's offers of books by Harry G. Summers( "Vietnam War Almanac" and " Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War"),Eric Bergerud( "Red Thunder,Tropic Lightning: The World of a Combat Division in Vietnam-the 25th Inf.Div precisely)and B.G.Burkett ("Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its heroes and history")I learned this:
Atrocities were a matter of official policy by the Hanoi goverment following the doctrines of Lenin,Mao and Ho himself regarding the way to raise to power and holding to it.Counter revolutionaries,reactionaries,puppets of the Yankee imperialism,exploiters were the label used for victims of Communist "people's justice".No Uniform Code of Military Justice to break,no court martials or boards of inquiry to face.
Drugs? Vietnam was the command with less drug rate until 1969-1970 when it began to raise.The drug problem started during the withdrawal phase from 1969 to 1971-72 but only as a reflection of an Armed Forces wide problem-not confined to South Vietnam- which was in turn due to what was happening in society as a whole.About 90% of all of those who ever served in S.E Asia have come and go before that.Total % of users were in the 10 to 12 %.Defeat by the north Vietnamese? No major campaign was lost in the war.No Bataan,no early phase of the Battle of the Bulge.What happened between March 1973 and April 1975 did not included US servicemen,except during the evacuation of Saigon and the Mayaguez incident.
I learned a LOT from these and other books.People,try to learn something new,too!The best way to honor those who faced Communist totalitarism in the jungles of S.E. Asia is to get the facts.In times like these we are living through, Freedom loving people worldwide can not afford to dishonor those who fought so you won't.
on August 28, 2000
«Loss of innocence?» - There was no «innocence» to lose in the first place! This movie contains the most incredible collection of totally disgusting characters I have ever seen. I had to force myself to watch it all the way to the end, in the hope that, against all probability, I might at last come upon some redeeming feature. In vain: the cheap sentimental platitudes eked out at the very end for the sake of placating what's left of dignity in the viewing public will only deceive the thousands and thousands of gullible suckers who helped this whole thing become a commercial success in the first place. I am not talking about the war and the violence, nor am I talking about whether it was warranted or not. That is just the context, - a context that's been shown much better and much more dramatically hundreds of times before in literary works as well as in movies. I am talking about the way the human characters involved in that context are pictured as reacting to the situation. The utter vulgarity of their language and of their attitudes to one another is clearly the artificial creation of sick minds that feed with relish on that sort of thing: even escaped convicts, if caught in such a tragically serious situation, would have behaved in a more civil way. My impression is that the sinister jokers responsible for this movie (let their names be erased and forever forgotten) must have had their brains stewed in tobacco smoke for a very long time before they could come up with such a totally gratuitous and unreal human monstrosity. Worse still: after reading the many ravingly favorable reviews praising this movie (including those of current high priests of cinematic taste like Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin), I must say that I cannot but have serious doubts about the sanity of a population that seems to have lost its reflex to vomit even when presented with such patently nauseating garbage.
on June 14, 2002
First off, this was the most horrid movie ever seen. I want to say this, I was not in Vietnam, but I know at least 30 people who had served their time in South East Asia to say this: This movie is a huge slap in the face of the brave men and women who spent their time there. The movie itself is the cynnical idea of a person who has obvoisly spent hgis time protesting the war and porlonging the war to the best of his possibility. It portrays soldiers as "baby killers" and pot heads. It is very much so the popular stereo type for depicting soldiers including our men and women serving in uniform, as monsters with no regard for human life. That they are emotionless, trigger happy, non-intellegent inhuman creatures who will kill they see, no matter if they are man woman or child. The big hype of soldiers being protrayed as babykillers didnt really accur until the incedent in Mai Lay. Which was of coarse and isolated incedent for the most part. What Captain Cally and his people did there was evil and hartless, and should have been tried and thus senteced to death. But no true self respecting soldier would ever hjave done such a thing, nor a real man would do that, or a realy soldier for that matter. And this movie puts soldiers in a bad light. When I decided to join the army, alot of people called me a monster, they call me a war lover, and most of all baby kiler. I am only 19 years old, I ahve enlisted into the army a year ago. This movie is a major dscriminations of vets who fought and died and survived every war since the revolution. It brings tears to mny eyes when I see discraseful movies such as these gets so popular that they think that was always true, that ever LRRP, Ranger, Special Forces, Infantry, Seal or Marine was like. This is not true. I hope one day people can see the truth that soldiers are humans. IF you wanna see movies that are accurate and truthful I recommend Band of Brothers, Hamburger Hill, Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. These people saw hell, they hated it. They were human. They never wanted to kill anybody, and I hope to god I never go into combat, but if my country calls, I will go and fight, because then I will have the right to say war is wrong. Anybody else who says war is wrong, ask them "Have you served in the military?" If they say no, just nod your head and walk away
on March 5, 2002
I bought this movie for my partner, it is his favorite movie and the original was gnarled by the VCR. I watched a fraction of the movie and found what I saw extremely distasteful. If you find violence towards children and the mentally challenged offensive I recommend that you avoid this movie.
on October 2, 2003
I had heard so many great things about this movie. When I finally saw it, however, I could not make much of it.
The film has every Vietnam war film cliche in the book. The new recruit, the crazy commander, the rape, the pillaging, the final showdown where most of the character deaths happen...and I found it predictable in a lot of parts. Not to mention the plenty of inaccuracies found through out - the uniforms, the dialogue, the weaponry, the fact William Defoe gets blown away in equipment that should have protected him, then comes back as if he's OK.
There was one point in the movie that I liked. In the final scene, Oliver Stone put himself in the movie playing a Colonel. Then a suicide soldier of the VietCong throws himself into the HQ and blows himself up, killing everyone inside. That gave me some pleasure...
on June 30, 2003
I first saw Platoon in a theater in Waikiki as a member of the 25th ID, which is the same division depicted in the film. A big chunk of the audience also seemed to be from Schofield Barracks. They cheered wildly at some parts, like whenever a charcter refered to "grunts" or killing VC. We were all very young and had no way to know what Vietnam was really like. I enjoyed the move. It's entertaining and well acted, but is very much more of a work of fiction than I at first realised. I came to this opinion after reading the book "Platoon - Bravo Company" by Robert Hemphill. He was Oliver Stone's company commander in Vietnam. His book paints a much more honorable picture of the unit and is much closer to my peace-time impression of the US Army than Stone's criminal/irresponsible characters. Read Hemphill's book and skip this movie.