Vietnam war film that at least respect the 'other side' and not treat the Vietnamese as people without a plan or strategy but as equal soldiers. Mel Gibson bark orders well with blood over his face, but there is not much new that is said about the war or brutality of it and the scenes about the waiting and grieving wives and children back in the U.S. only end up making the film stop in it's tracks.
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?
I couldn't finish the film. It was slow moving and I really had a hard time buying in to Mel Gibson in his role. I don't really know how to articulate the reasons I dislike this film, but I just know that I wouldn't recommend watching it. You may stumble upon the movie on late night TV and keep watching it for a while, but I can almost guarantee that you will change the channel before it's over...and good for you.
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.