Apocalypse Now Redux dir Francis Ford Coppolla
13 October 2002


Okay, that was just weird. Three and a half hours of crazy, dark, intense jungle footage, interspersed with sequences of trained soldiers doing incredibly stupid things. Like wandering around in deep jungle, talking at the tops of their voices, without a thought of Viet Cong patrols, and nearly getting eaten alive by a tiger. Of course, that's not what the film was about. It was about the insanity of Vietnam, and the way that insanity worked its way into the hearts of the men who fought there.

No, I didn't enjoy it overly much. I feel that the idea was a good one, but that it could have been done a lot better. The plot meandered along like the river the men were travelling up, and the film eventually degenerated into a series of disjointed incidents. Perhaps that was meant to symbolise or reflect the mental degeneration of Colonel Kurtz, the ultimate destination of the crew. He had gone insane and was to be "terminate[d] with extreme prejudice" by another US Army officer.

I don't like the presence of Dennis Hopper in the film. This is probably because I absolutely adore and worship Easy Rider. In that film, Dennis Hopper was merely acting Dennis Hopper, so every time I see him in anything else I see Billy from Easy Rider rather than the character he's supposed to be. Oooh, that Dennis Hopper laugh. He's typecast now, he can't change.

I have been told about 500 times in research on the film that it is "a loose retelling of Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness". Perhaps I should read that. I've read some Conrad before and rather liked it.


back to litblog