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Apocalypse Now

Title: Apocalypse Now
Directed by:
Francis Ford Coppola
Written by:
John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Joseph Conrad
Year: 1979

The Vietnam War is raging and captain Benjamin Willard once thought the only thing he wanted was to leave the jungle to go home, but once there, the only thing he could think about was to return to Vietnam. After doing so, he gets assigned to a mission to terminate the renegade colonel Walter E. Kurtz, one of the army’s brightest stars, fallen to madness somewhere across the border to Cambodia. Willard journeys upriver to find the colonel, but as he comes closer to his goal, he becomes more and more intrigued by the colonels past and actions. Is he really as crazy as his superiors have let on?

In general, I’m not very fond of war film, but I can make an exception for productions such as Apocalypse Now, mostly because it doesn’t focus very much on the war itself. This film is unique enough and has interesting points beyond mere warfare which make it worthwhile. Apart from the mysterious gradual portrayal of colonel Kurtz, the film also focuses on the more darker aspects of the human mind as revealed in times of extreme stress, such as the Vietnam War. I have no way of judging the credibility of depictions of war, but the picture is frightening and entertaining at the same time.

However, I won’t give Apocalypse Now more than four snails. This is partly because I think the film focuses a little bit too much on things I simply don’t appreciate at all (especially the first half of the film, when they are far from Kurtz) and too little on the truly interesting plot devices (most of the things concerning the actual mission and the colonel himself). Conclusively, it feels good to give such a good rating to yet another war film (I also liked Full Metal Jacket), even though the genre itself doesn’t interest me.After watching Full Metal Jacket, I said that if I would have to recommend one war film, it would be that one. I have now changed my mind.

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