Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apocalypse Now Redux

Apocalypse Now is one of my all time favorite movies. So I thought this version with 53 more minutes would be more of the same scenes but in reality the bulk of the new material added is one scene in which they are half-way to Col. Kurtz when they encounter a British post in Cambodia. They decide to stop and have dinner and we are treated to very long conversations that nearly bored me. The additional scene seemed out of place. They had found a paradise in the middle of hell. I did not appreciate that. Once they are in hell, I didn't want this break. I ended up fast forwarding past half of the additional scene.

It was nice to see this movie again but it seems so simple on plot now. Capt. Willard gets assigned to kill Col. Kurtz "with extreme prejudice" and has a long journey down the river and has various adventures along the way as he tries to local Kurtz. Harrison Ford actually has a small part before he was famous.

I'm not a big fan of Dennis Hopper but I love him in this. He totally steals the scenes he is in as the reporter who is documenting what is happening with Kurtz. I believe Francis Ford Coppola actually has a cameo in his own film as a reporter filming the action telling the soldiers not to look at the camera as they pass. It felt rather awkward knowing that it was actually Coppola filming the movie.

The most interesting character transformation is the surfer dude, Lance, who finds becomes extremely spiritual after dropping some acid. It seems he never comes down from his trip and easily integrates into the tribe they happen upon.

There is an alternate ending where the air strike is called and the entire tribe is napalmed including women and children. That ending was not included and you are left wondering what happened. I think that is a better ending.

So the original version is still the one I prefer although I did enjoy the extra scene where the men got to hang out with the playboy bunnies who seemed to be tripping on acid as well.


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