Apocalypse Now - Redux

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Director Francis Ford Coppola re-edited from scratch and added 50 minutes of footage for this new version of his 1979 Vietnam-era classic. As in the original, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is on a mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a presumably insane Green Beret living deep in the jungle. The mission starts with a bang thanks to the military muscle of seemingly bullet-proof Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), as passionate about surfing as he is about killing the enemy. As Willard and his patchwork crew move up the river in search of Kurtz, they encounter everything from Playboy bunnies to rocket attacks to defiant French plantation owners. When Willard finally meets Kurtz, he struggles to determine if he is indeed a madman or a poet-warrior genius as his cult-like followers proclaim. Can Willard complete his mission or become entranced by the charismatic Kurtz. Film buffs will enjoy the Oscar-winning cinematography, Coppolas acclaimed directing, and performances by many of Hollywoods leading men, some before they were stars. But a limited release will likely hinder box office returns.

The few redeeming moral elements in this film include a soldier wearing a cross, a brief depiction of a battlefield mass, and a shot of a Bible among Col. Kurtz possessions. But these brief scenes are lost in a sea of obscenities, profanities, sexual content, and violence. Coppola has commented on the faade of society that teaches teens to kill in the military but wont let them use the f-word. Over 100 f-words flood the script along with 21 strong profanities. In one scene, Capt. Willard makes a deal to trade gasoline for sex with Playboy Bunnies traveling with the USO. Nudity and implied sex are featured. Severe and often graphic violence involves disturbing scenes of graphic battlefield wounds, the point-blank shooting of a woman, an impaling, a severed head, and the brutal machete hacking of a man and a cow. There is an underlying anti-war sentiment in the film, yet the stunning cinematography makes war aesthetically pleasing. Film historians, aspiring directors, and theater students may enjoy REDUX, but moviegoers who prefer morally sound, uplifting entertainment should look elsewhere.

Preview Reviewer: John Barber
Miramax (Disney), 375 Greenwich, New York, NY, 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (45) times - Mild 14, Moderate 31

Obscene Language: Many (171) times - F-word 116, s-word 47, other 7, finger gesture 1

Profanity: Many (22) times - Exclamatory 1 (MG) Regular 21 (GD 15, G, J 3, JC 2)

Violence: Many times, often graphic (helicopters destroy village, graphic wounds; battle casualties of women and children; family on boat shot, man violently impaled with spear, severed head, man killed by rockets; bodies hang from trees, man and cow hacked with machete)

Sex: Implied twice (Playboy Bunnies with soldiers, man with widow)

Nudity: Several times (Pictures of nude women on wall and in magazine; male rear few times, multiple scenes with female breasts/ rear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Comments and flirting between Playboy Bunnies and GIs; soldier fantasizes about movie actress

Drugs: Many times (marijuana smoked, cigarettes, alcohol, man admits strange behavior due to taking acid; man and woman smoke some type of opiate; villagers smoke from long pipes)

Other: Man revered as God-like figure, pagan rituals include altars and apparent sacrifices; different ethnic slurs used for Asians

Running Time: 197 min
Intended Audience: Adults

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