Title: Platoon – The 25th Anniversary Edition
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Johnny Depp, Kevin Dillon, John C. McGinley, Keith David and Forest Whitaker
Running time: 120 minutes, Rated R, Available on Blu-ray
It’s been 25 years since the world first experienced Oliver Stone’s Platoon; a raw and surreal depiction of one man’s experience during the Vietnam conflict. Private Chris Taylor (Sheen) is a college dropout who volunteers for combat in Vietnam. After facing death and destruction head-on, he deals with inner torment as he struggles to survive his tour and deal with comrades in his platoon after an illegal killing of villagers.
Platoon holds a special place in my heart. One reason is because it’s one of the most depressing films of its genre, only because of the bleak realism. Another because my father is a disabled Vietnam veteran who also volunteered, and I always enjoyed his evocative storytelling that often mirrored what was portrayed on screen.
The Blu-ray extras are just outstanding. Several deleted scenes that you can watch with Oliver Stone’s commentary. One of the scenes is where Barnes (Berenger) lives and Stone states he wanted to keep in the movie. There are also many documentaries and vignettes on the making of the film, the history lessons and first hand accounts and perspective by actual veterans from the different military branches who had also seen the movie, and could relate to what was represented in the film. Most likely you will need something to bring yourself up after watching the film; the stories and historic footage will ease you out of the melancholy and you will feel more enlightened.
Total Rating: A
Reviewed by JM Willis