Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now
Director: Francis Ford Coppola 
Release Date: 15th August 1979
Rating: 18
Zoetrope Studios, United Artists

Welcome to the Vietnam boat ride! Climb aboard and see the sights of the Vietnam war. We’ve got surfing, dancing, beautiful lit bridges with some exciting explosions to make the ultimate war experience. Just keep inside the boat for safety reasons. Don’t want to get an arrow in your head when we sail on to the tribal segment!

Apocalypse Now is one long boat ride, one which slowly descends deeper into the pits of hell. U.S. Army Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) is set on a top-secret mission during the Vietnam war, the objective being to take down Colonel gone mad, Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Ben sets sail with a group of young sailors and goes off to accomplish this dangerous mission. Each stop shows a different portion of the ongoing war and it seems everyone is slowly growing crazier the further they go. Initially you’ll be witnessing soldiers who ride helicopters to ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’ and who enjoy a spot of surfing mid battle to soldiers who have no idea who’s in charge while explosions go off each second. The transformation of the landscapes and people really bring the horrors alive and by the time Ben gets to Kurtz any moment of silence is deafening. Hiding the villain till the final act pays off big time making for a rather terrifying chap.

What helps create the insanity of Apocalypse Now is the style it carries throughout. The music of the time blasts out bringing a feeling of home to proceedings and the hellish landscapes getting more and more twisted and bizarre is fascinating. It really showcases how the mind can fall apart through war, a fact further helped through the way the crew on the boat change by the end. Drugs and bullets make you go a little loopy.

Apocalypse Now has very few faults. The pace is slow, but carefully built up and the climax is certainly memorable, especially because we’re drip fed on anything regarding the big bad Kurtz. Probably best to step out from the boat and see everything no matter how horrid.

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