Made at a time when films on the Vietnam War were being produced by America at a healthy rate, Good Morning, Vietnam comes across as the sort that falls into both ‘types’ that were being produced at the time. Platoon got under the skin of Vietnam, telling the events from an individual’s perspective through voice overs without relying on a lot of causality, rather the everyday tasks and events that occur. Full Metal Jacket was an interesting beast in the sense most of its more intense scenes didn’t actually happen in Vietnam but rather at home on the training ground. But both were in a sensible tradition and took attention away from the Reaganism inspired ‘action’ films that were Rambo: First Blood Part II and the like.
Good Morning, Vietnam falls into both these sorts of Vietnam war films. On one hand it is a serious film about the war and deals with serious issues such as morale and how dangerous conflict with the enemy actually is without doing what Rambo did by turning the war genre into a sub-division of the action genre. At one point in the film, DJ and lead character of the film Adrian Cronauer (Williams) finds himself in a hostile area out in the jungle and you do feel the shift in atmosphere the film briefly moves into in the sense this guy is not a soldier but he is in a dangerous position and he isn’t equipped with how to get through it.
The best parts of Good Morning, Vietnam actually raises issues to do with oppositional reading. As a character, Adrian is one of those charismatic individuals who is perhaps more focused on entertaining his audience first but when repercussions to do with that want to entertain arise, it is an oppositional reading to something that seems innocent enough. There are a couple of scenes and incidences that deal with this theme of oppositional reading.
Good Morning, Vietnam isn’t a perfect film, nor does it ever break free of its own star’s gravitational pull. But when it’s funny, it’s really funny. When it throws an emotional punch, it really throws a punch. If it were only a more consistent, less indulgent comedy, drama or dramedy, it might resonate with me more. As it stands, though, it’s a bit all over the map.
The Blu-Ray transfer is all over the map too. The noise reduction is all over the place and there is some edge enhancement too. The special features here are realty lacking too not in quality but quantity. We have a production diary that is very good and was begging for more. There is also a raw monologue of Robin Williams doing what he does best – improv.
Overall it’s a good movie not great but really good.
Good Morning, Vietnam (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] can be purchased at Amazon.com or your favorite DVD store.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 3 hits on the radio out of 5
Review by Bro “B” – Ben
We received product for our review. All opinions are our own