Opinion:Apocalypse Now

Opinion:Apocalypse Now

Tyler Parker, Opinion writer

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 war film directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola. The movie takes place in the middle of the Vietnam war, with our hero of the film “Captain Willard”of a marine corps(portrayed by Martin Sheen), having to hunt down and kill a green beret that has gone insane. The entire film is what I’d definitely call a war epic, a movie that spans 3 hours and feels like you’ve been dragged along for the ride. On August 16th, they released a new cut of the film in theaters. I had the honor to be able to see the re-cut, which is the version of this movie I will be focusing on.

To make things more clear, I will be discussing the different cuts of the film… There were three versions of the film: The Theatrical Cut, The 2001 Redux, and The Final Cut. The Final cut actually abridges some unnecessary scenes and makes the movie overall more gripping and easy to follow, but it is still longer than the Theatrical Cut (which for some is the ideal cut). Although I can’t talk much about the theatrical cut because I haven’t seen it. The Redux from what I’ve heard, drags on too long and has an abundance of unnecessary added extras. The Final Cut indeed leaves some of the unnecessary scenes but shortens it to be easier to watch for a viewer, I found the final cut very comfortable to watch and entertaining through and through, despite its runtime of three hours.

Here are the things that I enjoyed from my experience of the movie and the very few things I didn’t enjoy about Apocalypse now. To start off, I have to give the cinematography as much credit as I possibly can, it really widens the scale of the movie and really takes you to Vietnam as if you’re actually breathing its air. The special effects have to be commended too. By using actual pyrotechnics and sets that they destroyed, it makes everything feel that much more real. Although realism isn’t always the direction this film pushes towards.

On top of the realism can be the opposite as well, there are several key scenes that felt like a dream to me, although I wouldn’t want to go into too much detail. 40 year old film or not, I wouldn’t want to spoil someone’s experience if they haven’t seen the film. Although I’d like to point out that when the surreal aspects are used, they have a purpose and aren’t just useless. Most of the aspects of this film have reason to be there, hence nothing feels pointless or added into the film as an afterthought, although I’m pretty sure they removed some of those bits in this cut as I have said before.

The music that is playing during the movie is one more aspect I would like to talk about. The music is electronic and symphonic, contrasting heavily with the gritty realistic atmosphere. In this case, the contrast works very well and amplifies the film’s effect, making it that much more captivating. I can’t go into too much detail without exploiting the movie, which I’d like to avoid, just know that this film in my opinion is worth watching. With its beautiful cinematography, interesting characters, disturbing and gritty imagery, and amazing soundtrack Apocalypse now is something that I can’t get enough of and recommend it to those who like horror/war movies.