Top critical review
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How do I know who he is? He's got no G'damn head!!!
on 2 July 2004
I saw this film soon after seeing Platoon, and thought, interesting film with a real sense of earthy reality to it, but without any of the "spit 'n' polish" of Platoon. That still rings true, but it rings with a little more resonance now. It was no doubt made on a mere fraction of Platoon's budget, and so lacks the big name actors and lacks the big effects. However, some years on, I have to say that my appreciation of Platoon has faded much more than my appreciation of this film. The thing is, this film is based on factual events whereas Platoon was based on fictionalised personal accounts, and there is a big difference. I don't think this film was ever meant to be anything more than a "tell it as it was" story about a gruelling bleak tale of valour, and that's what you get, warts and all. Yes, it's full of cliche's, particularly in the early stages of the film where the characters are developed, but then so is real life! As for the storyline, historical accounts would indicate that as far as the battle sequences go, this is a pretty accurate portrayal of one of the bloodiest battles the US engaged their ground troops in during the whole of the Vietnam war. It pulls no punches in that respect.
But, is it a good film??? There are certainly a lot of better made films out there. However, I still would recomend this film to ayone who is keenly interested in the Vietnam War, particularly in view of the historically correct portrayal of the scale of the battle to "Take That Hill!"