Written March 24, 2016
Oliver Stone's political war film calculates everything wrong with the Vietnam War perfectly. We follow one solider (Tom Cruise) named Ron Kovic, paralyzed in the Vietnam war who is strongly anti-war and pro-human rights after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for. So many men like this real-life hero have gone through the same emotional and psychical torture from the Civil War to the Iraq War. Oliver Stone raises important political questions about how we treat our veterans, but more importantly, he has us wonder if serving our country with our corrupt government is worth fighting for. With many philosophical questions regarding America and war, Oliver Stone crafts his best film that is an American classic. Tom Cruise gives his strongest and most heartbreaking performance, nailing every detail regarding his complex and demanding role. Cruise doesn't get too Hollywood on us, but rather portrays a struggling man filled with goals and wonder who ends up being driven to a different war, the war for veterans and the democracy of America.
Written July 07, 2014
Oliver Stone's film is a riveting, harrowing and blunt account of the true life story of ex Marine and current activists, Ron Kovic. The film depicts a young, naive boy (stellar acting by Tom Cruise) playing solider in the woods with his friends. At a family gathering, his mom foretells of a dream, of Ron she had, he is going before a large crowd of people saying important things to them. Fresh on the beaches of a war torn Viet Nam, Kovic segues from innocent boy into a solider rudely awakened. Quickly he experiences the darker sides of combat, the friendly fire mistaken killing of a fellow solider and the bloody misbegotten massacre of an entire Viet Namese family. Confused he is wracked with religious guilt. Kovics' life takes another turn as he is shot on the battlefield. Now paralyzed from the mid chest down at 21, Kovic encounters the horrors of the understaffed and under supplied MASH units in the battle zone as well as the V.A. hospitals in our country. He suffers PTSS. Coming home, life with his family is an difficult adjustment. Encountering a old pal, he is introduced to a new current of thought, the anti war movement. Kovic realizes the ugly truth of the Viet Nam war other soldiers and himself sacrificed so much for. It is at this juncture that Kovic's life embraces his true destiny, to fight the good fight against an injust war and to be an activist for the war vets. Kovic continues this day to fight for war vets to get better medical attention, support and rights. This relevant Oliver Stone film further extends a mother's dream of her son saying important things to a large global audience.