(Review originally written at 4 May 2004)

Unlike many other (Vietnam)war movies, the movie focuses in my opinion on the madness of man instead of the madness of war.

The first half shows how the soldiers are being dehumanized during their military training by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, a legendary and already classic role by R. Lee Ermey. The second half shows the madness of man in a war situation. Both of the halves are good and in a way can be seen as a movie alone but for some reason the two halves don't really flow into each other, which is my only real complaint I have about this fantastic and most certainly unique movie. Then the eternal question of which half is the better one? I'm one of the few who actually like the second half more as the first but that is just only personal and different for everyone.

It's strange that the Vietnam battlefield looks more like a WWII European battlefield but I'm sure Kubrick had his reasons for it. Kubrick also manages to put many other weird and unique situations in the movie, which makes this movie truly an unusual viewing experience that shall leave quite an impression on you. Only a brilliant man such as Stanley Kubrick can come up with these kind of scene's.

Despite the oddness level of the movie, the movie still manages to also impress the more casual viewer. The battle sequences are made with lot's of profession and with some beautiful cinematography and great use of music.

The characters are good and typical Kubrick like. Many of the actors give the performance of their lives. Especially Vincent D'Onofrio who gained a record breaking 70 pounds for his role.

Not the best Vietnam movie but certainly the most unique one. You'll love it long time.

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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