Connect with us

Movie Reviews




Reviewed by: Samuel Cole

Released: 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Willem Defoe

Certificate: 15

Platoon is a 1986 war film written and directed by Oliver Stone. This is a hard hitting film not for the light hearted that is for sure. The story follows the character of Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) he is a college dropout who enlists to fight in the Vietnam War. What follows is a truly gripping tale of friendship and the true brutality of war. The film is perfect everything about it is just truly amazing. Stone picked the perfect cast with the likes of Tom Berenger Willem Defoe Kevin Dillon and for those of you with a sharp eye you will see an appearance by the young Johnny Depp. 

Right to the plot, Chris Taylor (Sheen) goes to the war full of grit and determination willing to serve his country. This soon diminishes as the heat and humidity of the Cambodian border get to him, he is split between loyalty to straight edge Sergeant Elias (Willem Defoe) and more ruthless and unforgiving Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger). This pushes Taylor to the edge as he battles to stay on the right side of the wrong war, he refuses to become a beast like some of the men who choose to slaughter and rape innocent Vietnamese people, he is shocked to see the lengths Barnes will go to in his quest for information from these villagers this includes one very brutal scene of interrogation where Berenger’s character eventually shoots one victim to get what he wants and then orders the village to be burned. 

The building tension between Taylor and Barnes is obvious for everyone and after returning from patrol Taylor attempts to convince some of his troop to retaliate to Barnes and make him pay for what he has done. This results in a drunken Barnes returning and challenging Taylor which Taylor comes out worse from getting a cut to his eye.

The final few scenes depict a battle at night time where the American troops come under heavy fire and lose many men without giving too much away about this truly magnificent piece of cinematography it is a must watch to see if Taylor can finally get his revenge and end the reign of the terrible and ruthless Staff Sergeant Barnes.

The soundtrack of this film is also used to great effect. The beautiful use of The track of my tears which is by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles which the soldiers sing in a scene within the film captures the mood perfectly and keeps the audience involved and gives you a sense of the damage the war has had. The tune to the film is the beautiful Adiago for Strings which was arranged for a String Orchestra in 1936 is used as the track for the film another piece of music which captures the eerie mood of war and perhaps goes someway to portray the thoughts of the soldiers and their worries.

Overall this is one magnificent film which I believe fans of all films will enjoy. It is simply a moving tale of the Vietnam war allowing you to really empathise with the character of Chris Taylor, Platoon is a must watch Oliver Stone has produced a real masterpiece with this film this is surely a film that will last in the memory of anyone that watches it.

25 year old film fanatic who loves rock music, Xbox and cat videos on Youtube. I also tweet @lewisvstheworld

Just For You