Apocalypse Now (1979) – Movie Review

Martin Cid

Apocalypse Now is a movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1979 starring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen.

Once again, like in Citizen Kane, another guy who came and did as he pleased and this serves the rest of us as inspiration because it really did work out for them (some day it will work out well for us…). Apocalypse Now is not a war movie, it is an intimistic film set in madness and despair that is great for Coppola to make, perhaps, his best movie.

A movie of the “I´m worth it” genre.

Plot

A soldier is sent to capture coronel Kurtz, hidden in the depths of the Vietnam jungle: they say he has gone crazy.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979) - Movie Review 9

Apocalypse Now – Movie Review

We love it just because of that spirit of “I do what I want” even if they call me pretentious (Coppola himself said so in the documentary of Heart of Darkness, about the filming of the movie). All kinds of things happened during filming (Martin Sheen had a heart attack, for example, they all did all sorts of drugs and the helicopters left when they wanted to because the local dictator said that on that day the army needed to do maneuvers.

In the midst of this chaos Coppola portrays the chaos of the war, a girl whose role is done by children who didn´t know what they were doing there, directed by land owners that knew very well that they were not stepping in there: they were very busy counting up the cash that they were getting indirectly from the conflict. And, in the middle of that chaos, the horror Marlon Brando spoke about, in his role as the original Coronel Kurtz, a madman who has managed to put all that horror into an order that in a particular way is madness in solitude with no fear of death anymore (not bad).

The novel is very well portrayed, by the way: the director does not follow the Conradian designs to the letter (evidently, there was no Vietnam War at that time). He grabs and drags the spirit of the autor and makes simply unfortgettable movie from a good novel.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979) - Movie Review 10

Besides the terrible images, the film achieves great rhythm taking us from the chaos of the conflict to the intimate madness of Brando, the ultimate point in which all becomes meaningful only with the sacrifice of “the lamb”.

And, I will show off a little even though I´m a cool guy and say I like Britney Spears… the sequences of the parallel editing of the end of the film are suspiciously like those of “The Strike” of S.M. Eisenstein (a movie of 1919). But since nobody has seen that, I will shut up and continue, but I already warn everyone that “Battleship Potemkin” is the movie of tomorrow.

This movie done just a few years after the war was over and which manages to perfectly portray the spirit that merged drugs with bullets and generalized entropy. This is not an orderly movie at all, it is a movie that is obstinately great every time and almost all of those who attempt to be great, fail: here it works: the movie is like what Coppola imagined in his dreams: people calling him a genius for the rest of his life.

So, he did it and then he did The Godfather, just in case.

The movie does not shy away from exhibiting its greatness and those of its director who states how great he is and how handsome and lucky it is to be Francis Ford Coppola in a world of mediocrity.

He did just that.

Our Opinion

Another masterpiece out of several we have commented thus far. It does what it wants, is virtuous to the hilt and has prodigious intepretation portraying inner madness with pretention and grandeur.

Another one of the best of the best.

Direction

Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola  (born April 7, 1939) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and influential film directors. He epitomized the group of filmmakers known as the New Hollywood, which included George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Woody Allen and William Friedkin, who emerged in the early 1970s with unconventional ideas that challenged contemporary filmmaking. Read More


Cast

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Martin Sheen / Captain Benjamin L. Willard
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Marlon Brando / Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
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Robert Duvall / Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore
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Frederic Forrest / Jay ‘Chef’ Hicks

Laurence Fishburne
Albert Hall
Sam Bottoms
Dennis Hopper
G. D. Spradlin
Harrison Ford

See full credits >>

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