Platoon (1986)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Special Edition)
Genres: Anti-War Film, Combat Films, War, War Drama
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Oliver Stone Oliver Stone
Keith David Keith David
Forest Whitaker Forest Whitaker
Francesco Quinn Francesco Quinn
Kevin Dillon Kevin Dillon
John C. McGinley John C. McGinley

7.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: July 02, 2004
Chris Taylor is one of several new guys joining up in the main platoon of this movie during the Vietnam War. Unlike the other guys, however, he had quit college and volunteered to be here in order to not end up in a normal life like his parents did. When he arrives, he's slapped with the realization that the old saying of "war is hell" is quite true... and it's not always the enemy (the gooks) who make it as such. The two sergeants of the platoon, Barnes and Elias, are at each others throat due to differing outlooks on the war and how things should be done. This argument over power trickles down to the men, and causes them to be at odds with one another as well.

I'll most likely receive some death threats or something over this review, but I don't think that this film deserves the "Classic" and "Best Picture" statuses that it's received. It wasn't a bad film, but with the amount of praise that gets dumped onto this title, I suppose I was expecting something a bit more interesting. Maybe if I'd seen this when it was released back in '86 I'd have more appreciation for it; however, it just seemed like nothing different than what's shown on the nightly news today, only with a bit more of a story to go with the images. Speaking of that story, it really wasn't all that great or original. There was some very nice scenes sprinkled throughout the running time, and a few nice ideas here and there... but looking at the big picture, most of the things presented here had already been done before the release of this, and they'd likely been done better; though admittedly, I'm not a huge mark for war movies. There's a few moments in the film that seemed like they were supposed to be huge shocks to the audience, but again, they were quite obvious many scenes before they actually happened.

None of the flaws here could really be tied to the cast though, because they almost all did a great job in their roles as army grunts from various walks of life and with different outlooks on the war. Charlie Sheen (Chris) was especially great, as much of a shock as that is. The only thing that really bugged me about the cast was the huge amount of the typical stereotypes running around; there's the fat guy who's huffing and puffing constantly, the black power / white devil guy, the wise-cracking jokester, and plenty of hard-nosed sergeants. None of the characters here were anything that hadn't already been done to death in other films, and as such, nobody really stood out based solely on their character. As I mentioned, the guys playing the characters were good throughout, but there's only so much that can be done when the characters themselves are worn out.

Overall, this really isn't a bad movie, as I did find it entertaining enough to watch the full two hours; however, calling this a classic movie is quite a huge stretch. Might be worth a watch if you're into war films, but even with the limited amount of films that I've seen from the genre, it'd been done better before this, and much better since. 5/10.
Big D #1: Big D - added 09/03/2004, 03:58 PM
What a freakin' load of crap. I'd rather see Apocalypse Now instead of this piece of shit...APOCALYPSE NOW RULES!!!
wikkidpiggykilla #2: wikkidpiggykilla - added 01/08/2005, 05:32 AM
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 09/12/2008, 06:06 PM
Really overrated it. It was entertaining, but I doubt if I'll be going back for a second viewing.

Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added 09/12/2008, 07:21 PM
You're really overrated. Anyways, I have yet to see this movie so.....yeah.
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 09/12/2008, 07:40 PM
Nice to have your contribution.
Nirrad #6: Nirrad - added 09/12/2008, 08:12 PM
Yep, *cough*....yeah. GORE!
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