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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Platoon (1986)


The Vietnam War really did make people go fucking crazy!

Helmed by Oliver Stone, this searing autobiographical drama chronicles the Vietnam experiences of naïve volunteer soldier Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), whose view of the conflict starts to change after witnessing murder and rape at the hands of his compatriots.

One of the first key claims of this film is that it is one of the first fictionalized story to tell the most true story about the war. Now Stone who dropped out of college to volunteer for the army, puts his own experiences into one hell of a film.

The reason why Platoon is so significant and great is because its one of the first to show the moral ambiguity that the average day soldier faced daily. You see how all these soldiers, full of pride, are trying to overcome the enemy as well as the others in their squad. It was great to see how all these soldiers talked with one another, and it kind of felt like a school in how you got to see all these characters interact with one another in such a small environment. Most of this is due to the great writing as usual from Stone.

Not only does Stone write this film wonderfully but he also does an outstanding job as director, thus proving why he is one of my favorites. The scenes that Stone choreographs are shot with such beauty and unpredictability that we don’t have a clue of who’s going to die, much like war in real life where you don’t know whats going to happen next. There is also one scene where we see a Vietnamese village get tortured and the way it is shown is so nerve-racking and disturbing that you can’t take your eyes off the screen at all. The film also showed a lot of the other stuff that soldiers had along with rapping of women, drug use, and of course fragging of other soldiers.

The one problem I had with this film isn’t such a problem the movie has, as much as its more of my problem. I mean all these things that Platoon has done with its characters and story, is something I’ have seen from plenty of other war films such as Saving Private Ryan, and Full Metal Jacket. Now I liked a lot of the battle scenes and how they were shot, but I still feel like none of them were as quite as match for Saving Private Ryan’s honestly.

Platoon has probably one of the best characters that I have seen in a war film to date. Mostly all of these characters in one way or another are likable, because you can relate to exactly what they do in situations cause you would do the same thing. Sheen probably gives one of his best performances in his career, cause they aren’t really many, and I actually get past his character from Tow and a Half Men and take him for what he is in this movie and not something totally humorous. The best performances from this film probably come from Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger, who both play two different sides of the war, Good & Bad. Berenger plays this hard-ass dick head cop that seems to always get everyone’s side, and Dafoe in his greatest role yet plays the total opposite as a smart, tough, and all around likable guy who you cheer for in every situation, mostly due to the way he handles his character especially when the most powerful scenes come on.

Consensus: Platoon is a powerful and effective film that shows the American Soldier fighting in The Vietnam War for what they are, backed by incredible performances from Berenger, Sheen, and mostly Dafoe, and because Stone has a wondeful knack for writing and directing especially when it comes to creating an emotion.

9.5/10=Full Price!!!

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3 responses to “Platoon (1986)

  1. joe pettinelli February 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    you forgot to mention the best actor in the movie (kevin dillon)

  2. Jimbob February 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Haha Kevin Dillon. Thought this movie was amazing as well, and I’m not the biggest fan of Oliver Stone’s other work. You’re right, Willem Defoe was the effin man in this movie. The way he takes on Seargent Barnes in the village was brilliant. Glad you liked this film. It’s somewhere in my top ten anyway.

  3. Pingback: Movie Battle: A 4-Way Battle Between 4 War Films | The Filmster

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