Casualties of War (Extended Cut)
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Brian De Palma presents an uncomfortable look at warfare behavior during the Vietnam War. Sgt. Tony Meserve (Sean Penn) is assigned on a special mission after his rag tag squad is ready to blow. Things turn disturbingly ugly when the group decides to carry out their sick fantasies. PFC Eriksson (Michael J. Fox) still has some ethics and that could get him killed. Based on actual events, the CASUALTIES OF WAR is a harrowing look at dark side of war.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
CASUALTIES OF WAR is yet another great war film of the Vietnam era. Itís thoroughly thought provoking and vile, yet provides that inkling of human hope. The crux of the movie is that a squad of soldiers have been mind f*cked by the war. They donít give a sh*t about anyone but themselves. They WILL do anything they want. At first, you feel OK with this behavior but things keep getting progressively insane. When the group rapes and murders a random girl, you totally feel god awful (if you have a conscience). The amazing thing about this film is that not only do you follow Michael J. Foxís character, you almost become him. The same thoughts I was thinking were exemplified by his actions. This totally sells the film and its message.
Brian De Palma can make one hell of a film when he wants to and this time he wanted to. His first premonition to fire Stephen Baldwin as the lead and hire Fox was on the money. Fox brings his boy charm and purity to the picture which sells the character perfectly. As to the rest of the cast, theyíre dead on. Sean Penn is scary as the Sgt, Leguizamo and John C. Reilly are great, and itís not a war film without Dale Dye! The show stealer Ving Rhames, has the best scene in the film where he talks down Fox. ďWas I not righteous? I wanted to kill ever last one of those motherf*ckers!Ē The powerhouse performances make this a picture to see, but the real triumph is a monologue on the actions of a soldier. ďEverybody's acting like we can do anything and it don't matter what we do. Maybe we gotta' be extra careful because maybe it matters more than we even know.Ē Legendary.
The deleted scenes from the original DVD release were added back into the feature here and were given color filters.
A Conversation with Michael J. Fox > This too was on the original release and is nice but not new.
The Making of Casualties of War >> 30 min > Covering the production with a broad stroke, this featurette isnít bad but could have been a whole lot more interesting.
The only thing that really separates this version from the original DVD release is the tweaked added scenes that donít do too much to add to the film. The film itself is a powerful if not flawed work by De Palma. Yes, because somebody cares.
Props 2 > Brian De Palma, Sean Penn, MJ Fox, Sven Eriksson, and the Nam Vets.
Final D >> A decent buy but donít Double Dip