War movies often show the worts times in the history of human kind, but even in those times the humanity sometimes was able to overcome to gore and horror. The war was different for infantry men, snipers, submarine crews or pilots, but usually they are equally bad for the civilians. As many veterans of war say they often are not hurt phisically, but the damages that were done to their souls cannot be repaired.
Original / alternative title: Apocalypse Now Redux
Running time: 200 minutes
Captain Benjamin L. Willard is a veteran of special operations in Vietnam. Now, during another tour of duty, he drinks too much, he became cynical and disillusioned with the war itself. Colonel Lucas and General Corman assign him to a mission, where his current state of mind could be a vital asset. They give Willard the files of Colonel Kurtz of Green Berets with simple enough order - they want him dead. Soon Captain Willard joins the crew of a gunboat (PBR boat) that will take him up the Nung River into the neutral Cambodia, where Kurtz seems to be some sort of cult leader. During the journey he reads the files of his target and canít really understand why so distinguished soldier as Kurtz could become a threat to American operations in Southeast Asia. He was part of the observers operation sent into Vietnam to stop communism from spreading into South Vietnam, but with time he built cult-like group of followers and locked himself away from the civilization deep inside the jungle. His soldiers attacked attacked units from both sides of the conflict - no matter if they were American, South Vietnamese, Viet Cong - whoever he decided is the enemy of his cause can expect a ruthless battle with his forces. Willard arrives to area full of communist forces and his orders are to use support of 1st Cavalry Division under command of Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, but soon Willard discovers that Kilgore is as messed up and detached from reality that it begins to scare even his closest subordinates. During the airborne attack on Viet Cong village he already plans how to make use of the unique waves on the river, so he could surf. When he orders two of his officers to check out the waves during the artillery attack Willard decides to abandon the support and carry on on his own. The gunboat sets out up the river.
Film based on Joseph Conrad novel Heart of Darkness shows the whole insanity that was surrounding Vietnam War - Viet Cong brutality, American intervention and covert operations, French detachment from reality and desperate try to keep their colony, high rank soldiers that are literally insane and should be put away instead of creating hell for the civilians and the soldiers. All of it shown through a single mission that even donít touch the high level politics. The dark and mysterious atmosphere taken from Conradís novel is even more distinct when the plot was moved from Africa to Southeast Asia and the main character is a soldier, who done some shady missions in the past, but even he realizes that what is going on around him is far beyond the human perception. A unique war movie that shows only small bits of the conflict, but at the same time summarizes the whole thing. A must see movie.
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Apocalypse Now Redux