Platoon Leader (1988)

1988 | War | Feature

Vietnam war feature film produced by Cannon, directed by Chuck Norris' brother and starring American Ninja Michael Dudikoff!

West Point graduate lieutenant Jeff Knight meets cynicism when taking command of sergeant Michael McNamara's tour veterans platoon in a Vietnamese trench camp. Unlike his predecessor, who hid till the end of his tour, Jeff takes charge, experiences the manual doesn't allow coping with all realities and gets wounded. He returns, now fully respect by men and superiors. Besides the Vietcong, the platoon wrestles with the inscrutable villagers, which the GIs officially protect, but also fear as some collaborate with them, other covertly with the Cong, either way subject to bloody reprisals.

I've seen all the Vietnam war movies but this movie is the most realistic. Director and casts have done very good job. After making his directorial debut with his brother Chuck Norris with "Braddock: Missing in Action III" (1988), his follow-up would be another Vietnam War feature with Cannon productions starring Michael Dudikoff. The man with the poker face. All jokes aside. Norris' presentation might feel like a poor man's version of Stone's "Platoon", but it turned out to be a very solid nitty gritty portrayal of a war that was hard for the soldiers to come to grips with (nothing but pure propaganda). The performances are acceptably creditable (Robert F Lyons, Michael DeLorenzo, Brian Libby and William Smith chew it up in a major role) and a convincing Dudikoff actually brought across some emotional weight to the part.

Directed by: Aaron Norris Starring: Tony Pierce, Robert F. Lyons, Michael Dudikoff Based on a book by: James R. McDonough

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