Customer Reviews for

Born on the Fourth of July

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "People say that if you don't love America, then get the hell out. Well, I love America."

    The second of three films by co-writer/director Oliver Stone to explore the effects of the Vietnam War ("Platoon" and "Heaven and Earth" are the others), "Born on the Fourth of July" tells the true story of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), a patriotic, All-American small town athlete who shocks his family by enlisting with the Marines to fight in the Vietnam War. Once he is overseas, however, Kovic's gung-ho enthusiasm turns to horror and confusion. During his time in Vietnam, Kovic sees the true nature of war. His platoon mistakenly fires upon a town where the enemy is supposedly hiding however, they end up killing women and children. During the confusion that follows, Kovic accidentally shoots a fellow soldier and his guilt would encompass him for years to come. But when Kovic himself is wounded in a field, he returns home paralyzed from the waist down, spends an appalling, nightmarish stint in a veterans' hospital, and follows an increasingly disillusioned and fragmented path that ultimately leaves him drunk and dissolute in Mexico. However, Kovic somehow turns himself around and pulls his life together, becoming an outspoken anti-war activist in the process. The film is emotionally powerful many consider it Stone's best work and Cruise's best performance. Both were nominated for Oscars, as was the film itself, but only Stone, who co-wrote the film with Kovic from the latter's book, won for Best Director. When asked why he wanted to make another film about Vietnam after the success of "Platoon", Oliver Stone is quoted as saying, "There was another war waiting for the soldiers when they returned home." Indeed, he was right. "Born on the Fourth of July" follows Kovic's account of his experiences in Vietnam and the indifferent nation that he returned to. When Kovic returns to his home from the hospital, he realizes that the world has changed. People protest the war, sometimes protesting against the soldiers themselves. Before the war, Ron was a much simpler character. He knew what everything was about, he knew his role in the world, and he knew his duty to his country. Late in the film, Ron will say to his friend Charlie (Willem Dafoe) "Do you remember when things made sense?" When we see Kovic in the final sequences of the film, he has become an eloquent and persuasive critic of the war, producing facts to support his case that the audience is not familiar with. The film shows, if you will, the "spiritual" change in Ron Kovic, how the war changed him, almost killed him, almost drove him mad, but in the end taught him about true patriotism. [filmfactsman]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding

    I believe that this movie shows the courage and the pain it takes to fight a war

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