Flanked because it became through two mega hit Vietnam films—Oliver Stone’s Oscar darling Platoon and Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed complete steel Jacket—1987’s Hamburger Hill had a hard time making an impact. Critics and audiences of the time shrugged, however on mirrored image the movie today seems like a natty forerunner to Black Hawk Down, a no-nonsense, almost apolitical grunt’s-eye view of combat on alien soil.
The “why” of the struggle at floor level topics little to the typically negative (and disproportionately black) conscripts who make up the american side; as in Black Hawk, the leader problem within the warmth of the moment is kill or be killed. Following a quick advent to a platoon of everyday joes, captivated with track, girls and counting the days until the stop of carrier, we watch as heads are blitzed by way of system gun hearth and bodies disappear from the shock of tree-bound explosives—and concerned with the sake of shooting a hill of little-to-no strategic price. Platoon argued that “the first casualty of warfare is innocence.” Hamburger Hill, a meat and potatoes conflict film, counters that the most effective casualties are the unlucky ones who fail to make it out alive, undeniable and simple.