Even though I had never seen Apocalypse Now, I had unknowingly had some of the pieces engrained in my brain without even knowing the Francis Coppola film ever even existed. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” “the horror, the horror”. Who doesn’t know these?
Apocalypse Now, isn’t a Vietnam movie, but rather some say, Vietnam itself. It follows Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) as he heads upriver to eliminate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a US officer gone insane, “with extreme prejudice”. Along the way they see various firefights, some playboy bunnies, a surf loving commander, and a enough other things to fill the 2 and 1/2 hours.
The main thing about the movie, was the balance between bravery and insanity. The line is so thin, and nearly everyone is balancing right above it. Obviously, Kurtz is the exception with his ramblings and actions gone completely off the deep end. But really, that could have happened to anyone of the soldiers seen in the film. As for Sheen, his observations are easy to fall right in place with. He is sitting in the background and observing as much as we are. The whole dark atmosphere in the movie was enough to pass Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket as, in my mind, the best war movie of all time.