"The horror... the horror". These are the last lines uttered in the 1979 classic epic Apocalypse Now by The Godfather director, Francis Ford Coppola. Set in Vietnam, the film takes us through the psychological and physical battles that our main character, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) endures throughout the course of his top-secret mission to kill the gone rogue, Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Set in Vietnam during the height of the war, the film is not necessarily a Vietnam film, but a film set in Vietnam, as the war itself is not the main focus besides showing the horrors of war.
Starting off with a now classic intro of Willard lying in his bedroom while the song, "The End" by the Doors plays interlaced with scenes of destruction in the jungle, the film sets the tone as we see Willard is a damaged good, who claims that his new mission was going to be his last.
The cinematography in this film was truly breathtaking, with beautiful shots of jungles and rivers. And then there's the fantastic scene in which helicopters attack a beach with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" playing.
The acting in this film was brilliant, from Martin Sheen's psychological portrayal of Willard, to Marlon Brando's incredible performance as Kurtz, to Robert Duvall's performance of the wisecracking Kilgore. There were superb performances from all around, including a young 14 year old (at the time of the beginning of filming; he was 17 when it finished filming), Laurence Fishburne, now known for his roles in the TV series Hannibal, and the film, The Matrix.
Overall, this was a film that justified its troubled and problematic production, with fantastic cinematography, acting performances, and just a fantastic script and plot [based on Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad], the film was everything that it was made out to be, and even better than that. Apocalypse Now is definitely one movie that you must see before you die.