Stone is a cinematic maximalist, for better or worse. Platoon's influence on war films is unmistakeable, but it lacks the poetic psychological depth of Malick's 'The Thin Red Line' or the haunting grace of Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'. Iconic and distinctive (like many Stone films) but also a film in caps lock.
A solid, competent war movie, nothing more, nothing less. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, but there are just so many "war is hell" movies that you really need something special or distinct to stand out and this one had nothing, nothing I haven't seen many times before. This gets an unremarkable C.
I'm actually a little unsure about how I feel about this movie. Obviously it has great battle scenes but in my mind the relationship between Taylor, Elias and Barnes wasn't what it could've been... Other than that the usual moral dilemma's that come with war were portrayed nicely. Personally I like the more conceptual war movies though like Apocalypse Now and The Thin Red Line.
Good story, beautifully told. What a fucking lame title, though! How about these: THEY THOUGHT THEY'D MAKE IT, BUT THEY DIDN'T; APOCALYPSE NOW... AGAIN, BOOBY TRAP MASSACRE, RAMBO ORIGINS, AMBUSH ELEGY: REQUIEM FOR A DEAD SOLDIER, or, my favorite: JUNGLE WAR: THE MOVIE.
Beyond the personal nostalgia and requirements of basic storytelling, Platoon is a film about the impression of light. From the blue wash of the morning manoeuvres, to the flares (used to light the jungle during the final act), the progression, from naturalism to the abstract, suggests the madness of war as a literal descent. Stone's ambition to convey emotion and psychology through experimentation begins here.
After reading other first hand accounts like The things they carried by Tim O'Brien, I come to realize how honest the movie actually is to the war. unlike what some people said I find the movie to be great precisely because it captures the fear, superstition, and tyranny on the battlefield. The story almost feels like a book in how it registers but it's certainly not being naive or unrealistic, but true to this war.