Starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms
Written by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
Music by Carmine Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola
Bat-shit barmy war film has somehow transcended its notoriously insane shooting difficulties to emerge as a true war classic and, fittingly enough, provides a telling commentary on the insanity of war by proving itself to be equally bonkers. Coppola, who seemingly is unable to make a decent film these days, provides impressive spectacle without the aid of CGI (most modern directors would soil themselves at the thought) and squeezes a memorable performance out of Martin Sheen who plays a captain sent up river to dispatch Marlon Brando's Colonel who's gone completely nuts amongst all the carnage.
|Martin Sheen is ready to strike after camouflaging himself in pygmy shit|
|"I should have two goddamn Oscars on my mantlepiece by now, kid!"|
has to be the chopper attack to 'Ride of the Valkyries', but I also have a soft spot for a lot of Brando's scenes ("the horror...")
Sheen emerging from the mud
excluding Redux-added scenes, the Playboy bunny show is a bit unnecessary
"Saigon...shit; I'm still only in Saigon..."
Francis Ford Coppola, for seeing the damn project through, making a brilliant film out of the madness and putting up with Brando's BS
Probably Robert Duvall, just pipping Marlon Brando at the post
What would have made this better
not much, and certainly no newfangled bullshit like 3D or CGI - more of Duvall's Kilgore perhaps
What would have made this worse
if it had been directed by Michael Bay
not the Redux version, for God's sake - Born on the Fourth of July, perhaps?
What to watch instead
if you want a more straightforward war story, then go with Saving Private Ryan
If you liked this...
watch The Conversation, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II to remind yourself how awesome Coppola once was
+ awesome imagery that still boggles the mind today
+ brilliant performances abound, especially Sheen, Duvall and Brando
+ has a truly unsettling and off-kilter (drug-fuelled?) vibe
+ superb use of music, especially the opening
+ so many iconic moments and scenes
- some people will be put off by the weirdness of the final third
- the Redux version is unnecessary - stick with the original
- hope you don't mind a bit of cruelty to animals
Rating on the Marlon Brando/Colonel Kurtz level of bat-shit insaneness: