Cashing in on Vietnam-Vet Stereotypes
William Nathan Alexander | Cambridge, Massachusetts, Massachusetts United Sta | 05/05/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Possibly the worst movie dealing with the Vietnam theme in the last 10-15 years. The plot revolves around a group of Marines returning to Vietnam to reexperience their old haunts of thirty years past. The group is hostile to their captain, who they belive called in an artillery strike on some of them, killing several, after a mutinous incident. As the men relive their experiences of the past war, they begin to confront what took place in the rice paddies long ago.
The movie is bad in nearly every respect. The lead, Casper Van Dien, is woefully miscast (he was great in Starship Troopers) and his efforts to play a Marine captain and demonstrate "decisiveness" are ridiculous. van Diem as a meditative, tormented soul with a "Marlboro gravelly" voice?! Hysterical.
Worse are the stereotypes of "'Nam" vets. After BG Burkett's Stolen Valor, it is amazing such idiotic stereotypes can still exist. Naturally the "'Nam" vets here are all given to constant "confession," drunken reveling and psychotic behavior--brought on by "'Nam," of course.
In the tradition of Platoon, there is no mention of politics in the film--other than "wise" looking Vietnamese soberly declaring that they "fought from the heart for liberation" while the Americans merely "fought from hate of the Gooks." Maybe this is the reason the movie's American vets are constantly weeping and having existential crises that resemble what your kid-sister had when her boyfriend broke up w/ her. Anyway this is "'Nam" for MTV, not actual vets--so why not?
The script is so bad that it's painful to listen to. Did this film have an editor?
In short, the film is a remarkably amaturish attempt to cash in on "'Nam" (dude!) stereotypes and make a buck. Have respect for the real vets. Read a novel by Keith Nolan or Burkett's book instead."