Starring: Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Running Time: 153 mins
Apocalypse Now is an American film about a US Army captain who is sent on a classified mission into Cambodia to bring down a rogue colonel who has declared himself a god among a local tribe during the Vietnam War.
This film is BIG. Unlike some other Vietnam films, which focus on small pockets of the war, and the effects of it on various individuals, this embodies the entire sentiment of the war on a much larger scale, making it a lot more powerful to watch than many others.
The film starts off with an action-packed sequence of events, which was really exciting to watch, and also truly fascinating to look at the sort of damage done on local South Vietnamese communities by the USA, who were defending them, a very interesting representation.
After the first 40 minutes or so, the pace begins to slow quite dramatically, becoming much more of a documentation of the effects that the war was having psychologically (and physically) on the troop on the mission, which I saw as a metaphor for all the soldiers involved in the Vietnam War, which was still absolutely fascinating.
The finale, set in the rogue colonel’s ‘kingdom’ is somewhat more bizarre (it is a fiction), with many spiritual tones coming into play, however what that final part does so well is show fully what a devastating war it was, and how terribly it affected great proportions of communities in both the US and Indochina.
The only issue I would have with this film is that after the initial action, it is quite hard to settle down into this very slow-moving storyline, and although it is a really interesting story, it often feels quite heavy and difficult to watch.
Nonetheless, this film is excellent, with a fascinating representation of the horrors of the Vietnam War, as well as a very interesting plot, so that’s why it gets an 8.3.