I didn't think they could make a movie like this anymore.
I just watched this for the 1st time today. I was surprised by just how old fashioned it was. Mel was basically a John Wayne type, rah rah, good old American war hero in this film. This movie seemed to me to be a backlash against the negative portrayals of Americans in Vietnam movies. I liked the realisticly filmed battle scenes, I liked the close air support aircrafts & helicopter gunships. Those scenes were really intense. The NVA soldiers perspective sure was different. 1st time I've seen them shown as real humans. I liked how they show the NVA walk right in & take the land back after the battle- that was a pretty good indictment of how we fought & our poor strategy there. We dropped our guys into the meat grinder for little to no actual gain, & then did it over & over.
I could have done without most of the 1st act. The religious aspect was overdone. I know Col. Moore was religious but - That could have been a little more subtle, seemed like it was played up to be in your face to push the issue & the dialog of his prayer in the church was really bizarre about the "heathens".
The movie could have shown a little more of the 'what the hell are we really doind here?' aspect of Vietnam. That would have added a little more realism to see the conflicted aspect our guys dealt with & the futility of it all. They seemed to stay as far away as possible to the politics that sent us there in the 1st place & also from the divisiveness occurring in the country at the time.