Unfortunately, we've seen a lot of superstar American soldiers shoot foreigners in the face. But when we've actually gotten to know a dorky, frightened VC who misses his wife, and Mel dispatches him with the same thoughtlessness as he has countless others, with the camera virtually ignoring the life that has just been destroyed... I felt confronted as the viewer. That, to me, wholly makes up for the film's flaws.
Wow. I never thought that I would see a Vietnam War movie featuring the last words of a dying American soldier as "I'm glad I could die for my country!" We're a long way from Apocalypse Now or even Platoon with this one.
WWS might appear to glorify war, with men dying for God & Country, but that is not the case at all: by the end of the battle, all the facades are shown false, and we honor the nameless who died at the expense of idiots in War Rooms. WWS just happens to use conventional, '40's tropes to get you to care about its heroes, which is where it confuses. Extra kudos to showing intelligence for the Viet Cong.
5 stars, still this movie does not exploit its potential. Less pathetics would have been more. Unforgettable are the scenes with the cab driver delivering death letters; unforgettable Lt. Col. Moore's speech to his men before departure to battle (read it); unforgettable the thick of the fight; unforgettable the reminicences to Lt. Col. Custer, the 7th Cavalry, Little Bighorn and to the French Indochina War. Enough?