Born on the Fourth of July Reviews
Man, what a heartbreaking movie this is.
We all (should) know by now how wrong the Vietnam War was, but if you're somehow not convinced, give this one a watch. Although movies like 'Apocalypse Now' showcase the horrors of the war and present us with something more philosophical, I think this is the best movie made about Vietnam; at least that I've seen. It's certainly the most personal and heartfelt, and this comes down to a trio of incredible people. Firstly, Tom Cruise's performance in this role was...hard to put into words. I'll be honest - although I've always been a big fan of Cruise, I didn't think he could do something like this. But my word did he bring his A-game to this film, and his performance here is easily up there with 'Magnolia' as one of his best. Secondly, is Oliver Stone. Himself a Vietnam War veteran, you can tell this project held a particular place in his own heart, and its probably the best movie I've ever seen from him. And finally, is Ron Kovic, the veteran of whom this movie is based on and who also co-wrote the screenplay with Stone. His journey is truly heartbreaking and I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear or two throughout. It's technically masterful too, with beautiful cinematography and an amazing score by John Williams; who also does some career-best work. Overall, this is not the kind of movie you can enjoy, and not the kind of movie you're going to feel like popping in every once in a while. It was a devastating experience that left me heartbroken and angry at the same time, but one that I'm sure will stick with me for many years to come.