Apocalypse Now ★★★★★


Of course, it’s immensely difficult to mess up Apocalypse Now, but I’ll be damned if that French plantation sequence doesn’t try. It’s still in there, ripping the film apart just before its final third by boringly literalising everything that Coppola has already writ magnificently large with at least three other surreal colonial set-pieces. Maybe I wouldn’t mind it so much if it didn’t look and sound so horrible either, but it looks and sounds horrible, so.

On the other hand, I was thinking about Coppola’s recent interview when he stating that Apocalypse Now is not an anti-war film, and I think I get that now; he presents war in all of its delirious highs (the sheer adrenaline rush of Ride of the Valkyries) and its abyssal lows (“Hey soldier, do you know who’s in command here?”/“Yeah.”), leaving you with all the feelings he can possibly give you from a single piece of cinema. It’s risky, dangerous filmmaking that must not be misunderstood, but must be felt to its fullest extent in order to examine what specific type of wringer Coppola is putting you through.