Film Reviews, Short Review

Platoon (1986)

3/4

Rooted firmly in the annals of American war films about countries that America invaded which then made their soldiers sad, Platoon, like all Oliver Stone films, is on-the-nose and melodramatic. But, unlike the vast majority of Stone’s filmography, it’s not utter trash. Based on his own experiences as a soldier in the US army, Stone brings a sincere approach to the experience of war for the average soldier. Charlie Sheen may play a man who volunteers for the war (and quickly regretting it), but the film makes a point of pointing out that most of his fellow grunts are not there by choice. And how they can’t wait to get out. Confusion, violence, paranoia and hunger are daily travails for these soldiers, sending some over the cliff into insanity and others into drug addiction. It’s not a pretty vision, and whilst some of the characterisation is very thin and binary, this remains an effective war film.

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