This was one of the first Hollywood films since John Wayne's embarrassing THE GREEN BERETS (1968) to show Americans in battle in Vietnam. Although it definitely falls short of THE DEER HUNTER (1978) or APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), the film is not without interest. Structured like a traditional
WW II movie, the film follows five young men through rigorous basic training (led by drill sergeant Ermey, who would perform similar duty 10 years later in Stanley Kubrick's FULL METAL JACKET) and into combat. Shaw is a streetwise dope dealer who sees service in Vietnam as a good way to expand his
business. Of course, his character conforms to the time-honored notion that the Army ...