Apocalypse Now (1979) Review

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Captain Benjamin L. Willard is sent to find Colonel Walter E. Kurtz during the War in Vietnam, as he has set himself up as a God to a tribe in Cambodia.

Willard’s mission does not really exist though and it will never exist, which just shows the lengths the US Army are willing to go, to get Kurtz killed. As they have realised that he has gone totally insane! This then takes us on the journey with Willard as he tries to get to where Kurtz is, the build up to eventually seeing him is very intense. It really does make you sit on the edge of your seat as the suspense continues to build throughout. As we take a journey with helicopters, on the boats and by foot. It is pretty exhausting and incredible to watch unfold.

Some of the scenes are simply breathtaking, mixed amazingly with the music to really help create an intense atmosphere. I cannot help but think of the colour orange from seeing it so often throughout the film and some beautiful shots of the sun rising. Maybe a strange thing to mention about a brutal war film, but I am guessing that is deliberate to show that even with so many ugly things happening the sky can still be beautiful.

With the film we get some outstanding performances, I was so impressed with Martin Sheen having not really seen much of his early work. He led this film in such an impressive manner and you really did want him to succeed in his mission. Another standout had to be Robert Duvall, isn’t he just incredible in each and every role he has been in. He also gets the most memorable and quoted line right? I also have to mention Dennis Hooper who gives a totally crazy performance! Then we come to Marlon Brando the whole film is building up to see him as this insane man and it does not disappoint as he seems to speak in riddles and poems, showing that he no longer the man he once was.

I have to admit that I thought it was going to be a little bit of a difficult task watching this film with an open mind due to the fact that it is regarded as the greatest war film of all time, has high ratings on everything and was nominated for Best Picture in 1980. Having now seen it I can understand the high ratings and why everyone talks about it in such a positive manner. The one thing I cannot understand is how it did not win Best Picture, Kramer V Kramer seems to be a strange pick over this one maybe I need to go back and watch that again?

If you have not seen this film I can assure you that it is everything you have heard it is and well even more. I am so pleased to say that I was not disappointed at all and even impressed with a lot of the scenes. It has the brutal war and death scenes, but it also has some very impressive storytelling to go along with it and create such an incredible balance. Understanding the feelings of the men who are trapped in the war. It’s currently on Amazon Video so you really have no excuse to catch up, I just did!

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2 thoughts on “Apocalypse Now (1979) Review

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  1. Yes, a brilliant and haunting film that I have occasionally returned to over the last thirty years, and ir never disappoints (apart from the inferior redux version). A genuine classic, no question. And yes, it clearly is Best Picture material. Oscar gets it wrong yet again!

    Liked by 1 person

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