Casualties of War

1989

Action / Crime / Drama / History / War

107
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 34775

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Sean Penn as Sgt. Tony Meserve
Michael J. Fox as Eriksson
John Leguizamo as PFC Antonio Diaz
Ving Rhames as Lt. Reilly
720p 1080p
815.22 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 4 / 8
1.65 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 1 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Libretio 7 / 10

Blistering assault on the degrading effects of warfare

CASUALTIES OF WAR

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: 6-track Dolby Stereo

(35mm and 70mm release prints)

During a routine field trip at the height of the Vietnam War, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) rebels against his commanding officer (Sean Penn) and other members of his patrol when they kidnap a defenceless Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Le) and subject her to a terrifying physical ordeal.

Unfairly overshadowed by the simultaneous theatrical release of Oliver Stone's pompous - but still impressive - BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989), Brian DePalma's CASUALTIES OF WAR recreates a harrowing incident from the Vietnam conflict - first reported in 'New Yorker' magazine in 1969 - in which a group of otherwise decent men succumbed to their own worst impulses and committed a terrible crime. Filmed with typical cinematic bravado by master craftsman DePalma, the movie uses every inch of the scope frame to convey both the duality of the landscape (vast swathes of breathtaking countryside, where sudden death lurks around every corner) and the moral vacuum which stretches the two central characters (Fox and Penn) to breaking point. Crafted with blistering simplicity by screenwriter David Rabe (himself a Vietnam veteran and author of the acclaimed stageplay 'Streamers'), the soldiers are depicted as brave individuals whose principles are shattered by their traumatic combat experiences, leaving Fox to essay the role of peacemaker in a world where all the rules have been turned upside down. Thuy - a model with no prior acting experience - is truly heartbreaking as the soldiers' terrified prisoner, and her ultimate fate is so horrific (arguably the most disturbing set-piece of this director's entire career), many viewers will be too appalled to see the film through to its inevitable conclusion. All in all, this uncompromising drama emerges as one of DePalma's strongest films to date.

Reviewed by Libretio 7 / 10

One of the great American movies

CASUALTIES OF WAR

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: 6-track Dolby Stereo

(35mm and 70mm release prints)

During a routine field trip at the height of the Vietnam War, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) rebels against his commanding officer (Sean Penn) and other members of his patrol when they kidnap a defenceless Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Le) and subject her to a terrifying physical ordeal.

Unfairly overshadowed by the simultaneous theatrical release of Oliver Stone's pompous - but still impressive - BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989), Brian DePalma's CASUALTIES OF WAR recreates a harrowing incident from the Vietnam conflict - first reported in 'New Yorker' magazine in 1969 - in which a group of otherwise decent men succumbed to their own worst impulses and committed a terrible crime. Filmed with typical cinematic bravado by master craftsman DePalma, the movie uses every inch of the scope frame to convey both the duality of the landscape (vast swathes of breathtaking countryside, where sudden death lurks around every corner) and the moral vacuum which stretches the two central characters (Fox and Penn) to breaking point. Crafted with blistering simplicity by screenwriter David Rabe (himself a Vietnam veteran and author of the acclaimed stageplay 'Streamers'), the soldiers are depicted as brave individuals whose principles are shattered by their traumatic combat experiences, leaving Fox to essay the role of peacemaker in a world where all the rules have been turned upside down. Thuy - a model with no prior acting experience - is truly heartbreaking as the soldiers' terrified prisoner, and her ultimate fate is so horrific (arguably the most disturbing set-piece of this director's entire career), many viewers will be too appalled to see the film through to its inevitable conclusion. All in all, this uncompromising drama emerges as one of DePalma's strongest films to date.

Reviewed by ArchAngel Michael 10 / 10

The Highest Duty Towering Above All Others

Spoilers Ahead:

"Like it doesn't matter what we do, maybe its the other way around, maybe because any of us might be blown away at any moment, maybe it matters more, maybe it matters more than we even know." Want to see in the movie in one scene? Where the Chaplin, in the bar, asks Fox why he is upset. Listen to his voice, when he comes to the last two words,"Stop Them," listen to the ineffable anguish in his voice. See, he will always be on that bridge looking at her body covered in blood. That is what the ending means, her surrogate tells him the nightmare is over, he did his duty before God, he can leave the bridge now. The film appears to be about Vietnam but not really. All of DePalma's movies are about morality and the costs of doing the right thing. Remember Rick in Snake Eyes staring at the money on the carpet soaked in blood seeing it for the first time morally. Rick says,"I never killed anybody," Kevin answers,"Don't worry, you just point her out to me. I'll take care of it." The movie is Fox believing the captain yet risking his family and himself for that little girl dead on the ground. We hear Ving Rhames tell him; that's the way things are don't buck the system.

See, Diaz had the convictions but not the moral courage. Fox knew the minute Meserve made that little speech about who is or is not VC and "I don't know about you?" that his life may be lost trying to protect her. They almost kill him when he refuses to rape her; it comes very close. After he goes to Meserve's superiors, Clark almost kills him with a grenade in the latrine. The next scene is priceless: See the strength to risk death and do good, that same strength can be used for evil with equal facility. Watch after he bashes Clark in the face, see the fear, for the first time in the entire movie, in Merserve's face. He is seeing Ericson for the very first time. They thought he refused because he was too weak, their miscalculation almost costs them everything. DePalma, despite all the blood and nudity, is a deeply moral filmmaker. Remember Blow Out, the Black Angel Of Death towering over Nancy Allen in the train station? Same thing, she caused the death of another and the destroyer is coming for her. He really is identical to his master Alfred Hitchcock.

The movie is a morality play; the Vietnam war is but the substratum the movie plays upon. DePalma really is not insulting our veterans by implying this was anything but an isolated anomaly by a grief stricken sergeant who just lost his best buddy right before he snapped and did this. In Snake Eyes, Rick's life is destroyed and he is publicly humiliated; he loses everything by protecting that girl. It is the very same here, look at the cost Fox paid; he expected to lose his family as well. DePalma's point is a most timely one within this zeitgeist, doing good always comes with a heavy price; that is why so few people perform it. See, sending waves of positive energy or thinking only good thoughts is a hollow facsimile of real good. Fox does real good and he almost pays with his life. He was right; it does matter more than we will ever know. The highest duty that towers over all others is to God. DePalma is speaking through Ericsson to us; believe it or not, we may have to answer for the evil that we do. I am not a Christian but a Theistic Existentialist but the movie's moral power is overwhelming even to non Christians. A painful movie to watch like The Mission; It will transform you, make yourself watch it. Even if it had cost him everything, it still was the right choice.

"Whatsoever You Do To The Least Of These, You Do To Me." Christ

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