One of the most painfully visceral war movies ever made. Not perfect, but a very underrated De Palma-opera (although it was one of Pauline Kaels favourite films) - makes a perfect double bill with the equally underappreciated, almost forgotten "Redacted". B+
Michael J. Fox is terrific in this role, I'm not sure what the reviewer below me was thinking. Sean Penn, on the other hand- was not yet the actor he is today. Throughout the entire film it seems like his voice is overdubbed. De Palma is however, De Palma- and therefore the usual nonsense occurs- way overdramatic scenes, strange camera angles at inappropriate times, and an overuse/reliance on a Morricone score.
This has been called underrated and powerful on all of the internet boards I've read about it, but dear god. It's like someone told de Palma to use all of his worst habits on one film. The cheesy slow-mo, the terrible dialog, the incredibly silly "powerful" moments…oh, and the acting's awful. The only one that's decent is Fox, and that's because he just looks kind of traumatised at how terrible Sean Penn is.
So masterfully directed. De Palma applies many different techniques to tell his story, from stealthy stalking shots framed by binoculars to kind of ripping off Apocalypse Now's helicopter/fan transition with aplomb... It's all so tight. The script is pretty good too... shame it's so under watched compared to the likes of Platoon (which holds narrative similarities).