Reviews

Born On The Fourth Of July

3

Back in the late ’80s, Oliver Stone followed up Platoon, his semi-autobiographical grunt’s tale of Vietnam mud and thunder, with this preachy biopic of marine-turned-activist Ron Kovic. Hitching the tale to Tom Cruise’s rising Serious Actor status bagged him a Best Director Oscar, but Born is an indulgent rework that feels flabby and earnest in comparison to the clipped, kill-zone struggles of Salvador and Platoon. We track Cruise’s paraplegic veteran through his purging rites of passage in the ’Nam quagmire and see his virginal, all-American patriot stagger back to a hostile homeland, reborn as a hairy, ranting firebrand. Cruise is terrific – rangey and driven as the good ol’ boy whose apple pie turned sour. But Stone, who went some way to redressing the balance with the high-minded Heaven On Earth, just can’t hold back at presenting a bloody and pointless mass slaughter as some kind of Grand American Tragedy.

 

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: July 1st 2005

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