Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1986: Platoon

A young American named Chris Taylor volunteers to fight in the Vietnam war and discovers that it's a lot more complicated than he expected it to be, especially because his two commanding officers seem more concerned with fighting against each other than against the Viet Cong.

This is one of those movies in which developing the story takes up about 20% of the film, and the other 80% is made up of explosions and death.  It seems like a pretty accurate representation of the horrors of war, which was obviously the purpose, so from that viewpoint it's a success.  And I must admit that a lot of the camera work, especially toward the beginning of the film, is very effective.  The sound and visual effects are pretty cool, and the cinematography is very good as well.  Still, it's not a movie I ever need to watch again.  I know it's important to understand that war is messy and chaotic, but I've seen other movies that portray this same message and still manage to maintain an interesting storyline.  This film's story dies in the middle, and then it's all about shooting people and blowing things up.

I am fully aware that there are people who like watching this kind of movie, but I'm certainly not one of them.  I know they were trying to make a point about war, but I just can't get into movies that rely on explosions to keep people interested.  I need to have a story to follow or my mind wanders.  So no offense to the people who made this, because it's not bad for what it is, but it's just not my thing.  Also, I must thank the filmmakers for keeping the length down to two hours because I don't think I could have taken much more than that.

Next: The Last Emperor

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