Platoon is filled with one fine performance after another, and one can only wish that every person who saw the cartoonish war fantasy that was Rambo would buy a ticket to Platoon and bear witness to something closer to the truth.
Stone, who's known for his excess, offers a few voiceover lines that border on the cheesy, but other than that it's a pretty straightforward realistic tour of duty. And that's what makes it so powerful.
Most war films adhere to a big-picture purview, explaining which battles meant what and fulfilled which strategic objectives. Stone's effort skirts all that in favor of wrapping the viewer in visceral detail.
Mixing realistic reportage of combat with more conventional morality play (the narrative strategy of all his films), Stone employs the two sergeants (Berenger and Dafoe) as realistic soldiers as well as broader symbols of Good and Evil.