"You all take a good look at this lump of shit. Remember what it looks like. You fuck up in a firefight... and I goddamn guarantee you a trip out of the bush - in a body bag! Out here, assholes, you keep your shit wired tight at all times! And that goes for you, shit-for-brains. You don't sleep on no fuckin' ambush! And the next sum'bitch I catch coppin Z's in the bush, I'm personally gonna take an interest in seein' him suffer. I shit you not. Doc, tag him and bag him!" -Sgt. Barnes, Platoon
I had no idea what this movie was going to be about. I hadn't bothered to read the description about the movie, and for some reason I thought that it was going to be a comedy. So for the first 10 min I waited and waited for a funny punch line, and never got one. I then realized this movie was not a comedy but a drama. A war movie portraying the struggles and conflict during Vietnam, and boy was it powerful.
Charlie Sheen portrays all-american boy Chris Taylor, who voluntarily enlisted in the Vietnam War in order to follow in his father and grandfather's footsteps as war veterans. Once there, he realizes that he severely underestimated the conditions in which the war was being fought, and the death and destruction he would experience. There is a large cast of characters, all with their own story, that play into Taylor's experience. Sgt. Barnes, played by Tom Berenger, has been in Vietnam long enough to be shot 9 times and still be fighting. His experiences have left him angry, vengeful, and full of hate that he translates into violence against his soldiers and the Vietnamese civilians. Sgt. Elias, played by Willem Dafoe, is the antithesis of Sgt. Barnes. He does not believe that the US will win the war, and fights with strategy and brains, rather than fear and emotion.
Throughout the movie you begin to root for certain characters to survive, and even some to die, which is an interesting feeling. This movie was not based on actual events, but the characters represented people who actually fought in Vietnam, and portrayed how certain soldiers felt versus how others did. Yes, there were people who murdered and raped civilians in Vietnam, and there were also those who fought as "respectably" as they could. Not defending either side of the argument, is it right to cheer for one group versus another even though they are all Americans?
Mostly, this movie made me feel sad and almost embarrassed for some of the soldiers actions, and demonstrated how horrible war really is, without being extreme in their portrayal. Everything that happened in the movie, most likely happened at some point during Vietnam, which made the movie very powerful. It is well acted by all of the characters and makes the war very real, especially to those of us who were not around during it.
Guys, you want to watch an action movie but your girl doesn't want to? I would recommend this movie. There isn't much unnecessary violence, and it isn't overly graphic in its depiction of the fight scenes, and at the very least, she can see Johnny Depp looking young and attractive....
Fun Fact: Charlie Sheen's real name is Carlos Irwin Estévez. He changed it because he felt he would get more acting jobs.