There are a bazillion of Vietnam movies out there. Oliver Stone surely made the most rememberable ones. Platoon (1986) for example delivers a very realistic picture of what happened during that time to the individual soldier who served in the war. Well, realistic. I wasn’t there. But Stone was. And i bet he saw quite some disturbing things.
The movie “Born on the Fourth of July” from 1989 shows what a government can do to people who enlist to serve because of the love for their country. How a country is using its people. After the book from Ron Kovic who is the main character of the story in the movie. Basically it’s about a young man who just finished school and enlists for the US Marines to serve in the early stages of the Vietnam war. A few friends of him too. There are not many of them coming back. Ron probably lives through every single horror that a war comes with and tries desperately to live with it. He gets wounded and paralyzed. He tries everything to learn to walk again but he will never be able to do that again. Conditions in the hospitals were unbelievably bad. He comes home, changed from what he lived through, just to see how his loved country hates what happens in Vietnam. The soldiers as well. How must it feel to fight for your country, seeing people die for your country, and when you come home all you get is hate. No respect. No understanding. Rons world is falling appart. He meets up with old friends from school. One of them returns from Vietnam too. Ron hates all the activists and hippies that fight for peace. He doesn’t understand how these people can hate their country so much. Slowly he begins to understand his own experiences from the war and starts to sympathize with the activists. He becomes a big figure in the american anti-war fight.
There are a few scenes in the film where Tom Cruise almost looks like Charlie Sheen in Platoon. Cruise, just like Sheen a few years earlier, did a remarkable job. Cruise really made it to show the love Kovic had for his country before the war. A true patriotic. The slow change he lives through in the war and the hospital. And the complete change at home. Living with the feeling that his beloved country wasted thousands of young mens lives in a pretty much completely needless war. Oscar nomination for Cruise.
Technically it’s an Oliver Stone movie through and through. Fantastic camera work. Beautiful compositions. Great music from John Williams. Overall a movie you shouldn’t miss. It’s a movie with a message and you can learn something about history. Can’t be a wrong thing. :)
My rating for it is 7.9/10. Well deserved. =)