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Casualties of War - Review

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Reviewed by: Max - SimplyScripts Reviewer

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Director: Brian DePalma
Writer: David Rabe
Starring: Michael J. Fox as Eriksson
Sean Penn as Meserve
John Leguizamo as Diaz

Grade: A-

"Casualties of War" is a film about a young man (Fox) who has just entered the Vietnam War. He is sent out with four other young men on a hike through the jungle. During the hike they kidnap a young Vietnamese girl. They're going to use her for sexual pleasure while on the long trip. Fox's character refuses to take part in raping the young woman. The other four men end up murdering her before they get to where they're supposed to go. Eriksson either can tell on his fellow troops and send them to prison or let them get away with it.

It was almost three in the morning when I turned the channel to this. And boy, did it keep me up. Imagine yourself being in his position. That'd be horrible! Witnessing your friends rape and murder a young woman. It's a terrible thing and it was hard to shake off for a couple of days. Brian DePalma, of "Mission: Impossible" and "Snake Eyes" fame, really captures the look of the Vietnam War. You really felt like you were there. Michael J. Fox gives one of his best performances. You can really tell how good his morals are when he's confronted by Meserve with a rifle. Sean Penn is great. The best performance in the film. To keep the audience glued to the screen like that and strike fear in their heart is an accomplishment. He's an ultimate bad guy. Everything works here except the beginning and the end, where he meets an Asian woman on a train that reminds him of the woman they held captive. It wasn't really needed and I could have done a lot better without it. Kind of slowed the film down. This is a great film with a great message. Right up there with "Platoon."

copyright (c) 2003, Max Colston, Used with Permission

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