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->Somebody once wrote: "Hell is the impossibility of reason". That's what this place feels like. Hell. I hate it already and it's only been a week.
-->-- '''Private Chris Taylor'''

''Platoon'' is an acclaimed war film written and directed by Creator/OliverStone based on his experiences as an American soldier in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar. It was released in 1986 and won the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Picture. This is also his first film about the war, followed by ''Literature/BornOnTheFourthOfJuly'' and ''Film/HeavenAndEarth''. These three films are often said to form a "trilogy", although they merely share subject matter and do not take place in a shared continuity.

The film follows a new recruit named Chris Taylor (Creator/CharlieSheen) as he gets thrown into the humid, alien and deadly jungles of war and gives a frank look at the toll the war took on the men that fought, lived and died in the jungle. The main conflict is the murder of innocent civilians causing a rift in the platoon while Chris tries to find the correct thing to do in a war with ambiguous morals.

It is generally considered a milestone in war films in that the battles are far from glamorized and it is not afraid of showing just how hellish it can be; this makes it come closer to defeating DoNotDoThisCoolThing than many other films.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AGodAmI: It's implied that Barnes' power over life and death has gone to his head.
-->'''Barnes''': I am reality.
* AllAsiansWearConicalStrawHats: Many of the Vietnamese civilians.
* AnyoneCanDie: And at any moment, just [[WarIsHell like in war]].
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Junior and/or Bunny dying is surely the happiest moment in the movie for some. Taylor fragging Barnes also counts.]]
* AuthorAvatar: Basically, Chris ''is'' Oliver Stone. His commentary on the film reveals that just about everything is taken from his time in Vietnam, and he occasionally talks like he really is the character.
* AxCrazy: Whenever Taylor snaps, he becomes this.
-->'''''IT'S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!'''''
* BadassBoast:
-->'''Barnes''': Oh, you wanna kick ass. Yeah. Well, here I am, all by my lonesome. And there ain't nobody gonna know. Six of you boys against me. Kill me. ... [beat]... I shit on all of you.
* BigNo: Chris shouts this just as Barnes is about to kill him during the final battle by the end of the movie.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Chris survives the war and goes home, but he doesn't really escape the consequences of the war.]]
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Subverted; most of the platoon's black members were either wounded or came back home. and only a few of them killed. [[spoiler:Warren]] was the first to go.
** [[spoiler:King manages to survive multiple death flag tropes such as MentorOccupationalHazard and {{Retirony}}, and makes it home safe and in one piece right before the final battle wipes out most of what remains of the platoon.]]
* BloodKnight: Barnes is a frightening example. ''Very'' frightening example.
** Bunny as well, although he's in it more for the killing than the glory.
* BoobyTrap: Be careful opening that [[spoiler:box of documents]], guys.
** The odd thing is, [[spoiler:just before lifting the box, he was telling his comrade to be careful about where he stepped and what he touched because of... well, y'know. Why didn't he just grab the papers from within the box?]] The IdiotBall, that's why.
* BoomHeadshot: [[spoiler:Bunny and Wolfe in the FinalBattle.]]
* TheCaptain: Subverted with Harris; he's not part of the platoon.
* CassandraTruth: When Junior falls asleep on his watch, blowing an ambush and causing one platoon member to be killed, he immediately tells a bold-faced lie and says it was Chris. The others believe Junior unquestioningly since Chris is the rookie. Chris meekly tries to defend himself ("I didn't fall asleep. It was Junior.") but it falls on deaf ears. "Excuses are like assholes! Everybody has one!"
** However, if you pay close attention you will see that two most experienced men (Barnes and Elias) aren't fooled by Junior for one minute. When Barnes gives his lecture on what he's going to do to the next person who falls asleep on watch, he pauses to give Junior a blistering death glare. In addition, Elias pointedly orders Junior to help carry Gardner's corpse
* CharactersDroppingLikeFlies: Of the 31 men of the platoon, 15 die, 11 are wounded, and only 5 are left unscathed by the end of the film.
* ChromosomeCasting: All of the characters are men (appropriate given the setting and period).
* ColonelKilgore: Barnes. He exists to live out his survivalist ideas, and he enjoys war to its fullest.
* ClusterFBomb: Elias when he finds out what Barnes did at the village. So bad that even career soldiers thought it was over-the-top.
* CouldntFindALighter: One of the characters lights his cigarette from a villager's burning hut that the American soldiers have just torched.
* CreatorCameo: Oliver Stone as the company commander who [[spoiler:gets bombed to oblivion by an NVA sapper]].
* CrucifiedHeroShot: One of the most popular examples. Since this became the main poster/video box/DVD cover image, this rather builds up expectations of the film. The closing narration doesn't help. The image is a homage to the famous 1968 photograph by Art Greenspon.
* DeathByCameo: [[spoiler:Oliver Stone gets vaporized by a suicide bomber.]]
* DeathFromAbove: And below. And left, right, front, and back. Though to be fair, this trope occurs literally in the form of Huey helicopters [[spoiler:and an F-5 Freedom Fighter airstrike.]]
* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler:Barnes ''begs'' Taylor to kill him in the [[DeletedScene alternate ending]]. It was such an OutOfCharacter moment that it would've contradicted the closing narration if it was kept in the final cut.]]
-->''[[spoiler:You godless bastard, come back here!]]''
%%* {{Determinator}}: The NVA.
* DirtyCoward: Sgt. O'Neill, who goes as far as to [[spoiler:hide under the corpse of one of his comrades to avoid fighting in the FinalBattle - understandable in the moment as he was about to be surely killed and had no other way to live, but then we find out he stayed there the entire battle while other soldiers got slaughtered.]].
* DrillSergeantNasty: Sergeant Barnes, before revealing himself as a [[BloodKnight killing]] [[PsychoForHire machine]].
* DwindlingParty: The titular platoon.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When Junior sprays a can of bugspray onto his feet and claims he has jungle rot and can't walk, Barnes doesn't think too highly of his pathetic lies or his blatant cowardice, threatening to stick a centipede in his crotch and 'see if he can walk.' Bunny and Red are equally disgusted, especially when Junior promptly wusses out and declares he ''can'' walk.
** Wolfe is a completely useless officer who allows Barnes to walk all over him and get away with whatever he wants, but when Chris calls out to the others that Elias has been left behind, Wolfe does make an effort to try to go back and save him.
** Sgt O'Neill may be a sarcastic jerk, but is noticeably disturbed by Bunny's murder of the disabled villager. He also never commits any major war crimes (that we know of) apart from his role in the village scene. Even that was under Staff Sgt. Barnes' orders and his later response (unlike Bunny's suggestion to frag Elias) was simply to enquire whether there would be a court martial in relation to Barnes' actions.
%%* EveryHelicopterIsAHuey
* EvilCounterpart: Elias and Barnes function as this; Chris even compares his conflict between the good and evil inside of him to their conflict.
%%* EvilIsHammy: Barnes.
* EvilVersusEvil: The sociopathic American soldiers themselves (with the exception of Taylor, Elias, and a few others) may not be one of the movies' saintly soldiers, but the NVA who were against them were as bad as they.
* EyeScream: [[spoiler:Wolfe gets hit by shrapnel in the eyes during the FinalBattle (you can see him staggering around covering his face) before [[BoomHeadshot being fragged in the head]]]].
%%* FinalBattle: And how!
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the immediate aftermath of the ambush battle at the beginning of the film, Barnes finds a wounded VC soldier, and mercilessly put him down by firing a couple rifle rounds into his chest. At the end of the film, [[spoiler: Chris puts Barnes down in an ''identical'' situation, in a scene that is practically a mirror image of the prior one.]]
* ForTheEvulz: Basically the reason why Barnes and Bunny likes to go around killing people in war.
* GameMod: There's a ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' mod themed around this movie. Also counts as a NonIndicativeName since it's actually based on 3 different Vietnam War films; this, ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''. A stand-alone sequel, ''NAM'', was released 2 years later.
* GeneralRipper: Zig-zagged with Captain Harris. He was willing to court-martial Barnes and Elias if he finds out an illegal killing took place. [[spoiler:But during the FinalBattle, he orders the air strike on the base which killed many of his own men and the NVA attackers.]]
** [[spoiler:In fairness to him, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_protective_fire final protective fire]] is an accepted desperation tactic when a position is overrun or about to be overrun, and he is in just as much danger from the air strike as everyone else, as he is literally calling it in on his own command post.]]
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Barnes in Chris' hallucinogenic experience of the final battle.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Barnes has a nasty scar that zig-zags all up and down the right side of his face.
** Chris earns a classic "good" scar on his cheek from his fight with Barnes. [[spoiler:As Chris leaves on the chopper after killing Barnes, he has a deep cut on his face almost [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim identical]] to [[YouAreWhatYouHate Barnes]]'.]]
* GoodGunsBadGuns: Played with. The Americans and the briefly-seen ARVN troops use NATO firearms, while the NVA use Chinese Type [=56s=] and B-40 [=RPGs=], the former of which is also used by both Barnes and Taylor late in the film. Pretty much TruthInTelevision as discussed in the trope page.
* GoodIsNotNice: The platoon fractures into an idealist group loyal to Elias and a survivalist group loyal to Barnes. However, the stoners in Elias' group are far from saints. Elias and Taylor are the most moral of the entire platoon, and they do a lot of drugs, cursing, and starting fights.
** Junior worries about Bunny and morality, judging un-Christian. Rewind a moment earlier: [[{{Hypocrite}} he was among the group of soldiers raping the girls]].
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: Despite the enmity in between them, and despite the ruthlessness and remorselessness Barnes had demonstrated... [[spoiler:when Elias runs into Barnes in the jungle, it takes him a long while to realize one of them isn't walking away.]]
* HateSink: Bunny and Junior, with the former being a racist low-functioning psychopath and the latter being a pathetic, [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil would-be-rapist.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Thrice with Taylor, to the point of becoming AxCrazy.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Barnes gives Elias' posse a rambling speech where he casually insults them all, calling them a bunch of potheads trying to escape from reality, whereas he 'is reality.' The entire time he's absolutely ''slugging'' Jack Daniels and is obviously hammered on the stuff.
* IconicScene: Elias giving a CrucifiedHeroShot (really a call for aid to his friends in the choppers above him) as the NVA riddle him with bullets.
* IronicNickname: You'd ''think'' a soldier named "Bunny" would be docile and harmless. [[AxCrazy He's anything but.]]
* ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure: [[spoiler:Cpt. Harris orders an F-5 Freedom Fighter to destroy his own base during the FinalBattle in a last-ditch attempt to stop the NVA attack]].
-->'''[[spoiler:Harris]]''': [[spoiler:Be advised, we got zips in the wire down here... For the record, it's my call. Dump everything you got left on my pos. I say again, expend all remaining in my perimeter. It's a lovely fucking war. Bravo Six out.]]
* JadeColoredGlasses: Unsurprisingly happens to Taylor as the film progresses.
* JerkAss: Barnes, Bunny and Junior. Wolfe has his moments as well, especially towards the end.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Sgt. O'Neill is petty, cowardly, and a bit of an asshole, but he more or less begs Bunny not to kill the Vietnamese civilians.
* KarmicDeath:
** [[spoiler:Chris frags Barnes with three rounds in the upper-right torso, exactly how Barnes shot Elias.]]
** [[spoiler:Bunny is jumped and executed by a Vietcong soldier, fitting retribution for his brutality toward the Vietnamese villagers.]]
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:The FinalBattle ends with an F-5 Freedom Fighter dropping napalm on the whole base]].
* LicensedGame: A [[LicensedGame tie-in videogame]] was developed by Ocean Software a year after the film's release. Probably some of the least necessary film-to-game adaptations ever, given that the movie was ''demonizing'' the war. They at least tried to replicate the film's message in the NES game by giving you a [[KarmaMeter "Morale" gauge]] which goes down [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential whenever you kill a civilian]]. Once the bar drops to zero, a NonStandardGameOver occurs. The game's levels recreated the film's scenes, each with their own gameplay style, from a side-scrolling shooter to a FirstPersonShooter, and vice versa. A tactical [[TabletopGame board game]] was released around the same time by Avalon Hill. Another tie-in game was released in 2002, this time a real-time tactics game.
%%* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler:Elias]].
* MadeOfIron: Barnes had apparently been shot seven times prior to the events of the film and the rest of the platoon think he can't die as a result. Chris shoots him three times at close range to finish him off after he survives the airstrike.
* ManlyTears: Chris weeps at the end of the film.
* TheMentor:
** Elias is faster, stronger and more experienced than his student Chris.
** King is also this to Chris, serving almost like a surrogate father figure.
%%* MessianicArchetype: Elias.
* MoreDakka: The M60 machine guns used by King, Tex, Morehouse, and Huey helicopter door gunners.
* MyGirlBackHome: Complete with [[FatalFamilyPhoto wallet picture]] and all.
%%* NaiveNewcomer: Chris, at first.
* TheNeidermeyer: Wolfe, the leader of the titular platoon. An incompetent coward who is unable to control his own soldiers, he lets Elias and Barnes do as they like (and the only order he gives is to burn down the village). US Army leadership classes have used Wolfe an example of how a junior officer should ''not'' behave.
%%* NewMeat: Chris and Gardner.
* NeverMyFault: The soldiers that advocate killing everyone in the village, including the ones that claim that they're not doing anything wrong when they're trying to ''rape two girls.''
* NiceGuy: Chris, Elias, King, and a couple of the [[MauveShirt mauve shirts]] like Lerner and Francis. Rhah is more of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
%%* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Inverted.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Pretty much everything Bunny does, including beating a crippled Vietnamese civilian and his elderly mother to death just for the hell of it, and nearly raping a young girl.
* OldSoldier: Captain Harris, who looks old enough to have served as far back as World War II.
* OpposingCombatPhilosophies: Elias (laid-back/tactical) and Barnes (aggressive). Stone based them on two different sergeants he knew while he was in Vietnam. They never met but Stone wondered what would happen if two men of such opposing viewpoints were in the same platoon.
* OpposedMentors: WideEyedIdealist Chris is torn between two Sergeants about how he should conduct himself in Vietnam. As his closing monologue goes''" The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possession of my soul"''.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The M113 APC at the end of the film has a swastika flag tied to the antenna. [[WordOfGod According to Stone]], APC soldiers during the war were notorious [[TruthInTelevision for displaying Nazi paraphernalia on their vehicles]].
%%* RatedMForManly
* RealityEnsues: Despite Barnes' proven marksmanship, [[spoiler:Elias doesn't immediately die after he shoots him, and still manages to make it all the way to the LZ with the NVA shooting him repeatedly before he finally succumbs.]]
%%* RedEyesTakeWarning: See GlowingEyesOfDoom.
* {{Retirony}}: Subverted. [[spoiler:After announcing that he's going home in a chopper in ten minutes with the final battle approaching, King (Keith David) actually does make it out alive.]]
* ScreamingWarrior: All of the NVA soldiers during the FinalBattle.
* ScrewTheWarWerePartying: Subverted with Elias, a stoner with a relativist attitude to war who is still a complete badass and a more effective commander than Barnes.
** Although to be fair, there is a literal party scene at one point, complete with joints and a "Tracks of My Tears" singalong.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Junior bolts for dear life when he realizes he and Bunny are completely overrun by the NVA. [[spoiler:He doesn't make it.]] Not too much later, Francis pulls a variant of this, realizing that he's made it out of the final battle unhurt... and immediately remedying this by jabbing his trench knife into his thigh so he can be be sent home.
* SergeantRock: Elias and Barnes, in [[OpposingCombatPhilosophies their]] [[OpposedMentors own ways]].
* ShooOutTheClowns: King, who spends the film acting as Taylor's lighthearted, weed-smoking mentor, is sent home [[spoiler:just before most of the platoon is obliterated.]]
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: Bunny. [[spoiler:Averted during the FinalBattle.]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: On the cynical side. Very much so.
* SociopathicSoldier: Quite a few of them, though somewhat understandably so. Barnes and Bunny would be the prime examples. All of the NVA soldiers were just as bad as them.
* StockParodies: The "Platoon" pose, as seen on the main page.
* StoppedCaring: By the final battle, many of the soldiers have checked out.
-->'''Wolfe''': I just don't give a flying fuck anymore.
* StuffBlowingUp: From [[BoobyTrap booby traps]], a village, a forest, to [[spoiler:''an entire military base'']].
* SuicideAttack: [[spoiler:During the FinalBattle, there's that one guy who runs straight into company command and suicide bombs it ([[CreatorCameo taking the director with him]])]].
* StrikeMeDownWithAllOfYourHatred: [[spoiler:Barnes dares Taylor to kill him after the FinalBattle, which he does.]]
-->''[[spoiler:Do it.]]''
* ThousandYardStare:
** [[spoiler:Chris after he kills Barnes]]. And just as dramatically, when Chris first arrives in Vietnam, one of the soldiers boarding the plane back to the States sports a doozy of one.
** Captain Harris in the film's very last shot of him after the final battle. Dale Dye has said that this shot wasn't even planned or acted - Oliver Stone and the camera crew happened to film him in the middle of a legitimate flashback.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: [[spoiler:Elias is shot and left to die by Barnes, and is gunned down by the NVA as his comrades look on helplessly.]]
* TruthInTelevision: Ask any Vietnam veteran [[WarIsHell what the war was like]].
* TunnelNetwork: Elias infiltrates an underground VC tunnel at one point in the film.
%%* UnfriendlyFire: And more than once.
* UnnaturallyBlueLighting: Some of the movie's scenes are filled with blue tint. Said tint is omitted from UsefulNotes/BluRay[=/=]HD releases.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: One of the definitive films about it.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The really big fight at the end is based on the New Years Day Battle of 1968 that Stone lived through.
* WarIsHell: This movie does not attempt balance: it is an all-out WarIsHell work. It contains war crimes including murder and attempted rape, graphic imagery of violent death and maiming, PTSD, drug use, mistaken fire on friendly units, and focuses on lethal infighting. [[note]]For the record, the drug use was generally one of the more ''positive'' elements the protagonist encountered.[[/note]]
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: Eventually, the platoon gets torn between those who side with Elias or Barnes.
-->'''Taylor''': I can't believe we're fighting each other, when we should be fighting them.
* WeaponsUnderstudies:
** Colt Model 653 carbines stand in for CAR-15[=/=]XM-177's.
** An F-5 Freedom Fighter stands in for either an F-4 Phantom or an F-105 Thunderchief, which would've been more accurate for the air support role. F-5s were used in Vietnam by the USAF, but only sparingly so for combat evaluations and unlikely for the situation in the movie.
%%* WideEyedIdealist: Taylor, at first.
%%* WouldHurtAChild: '''Dear God, Bunny.'''
%%* WouldNotShootACivilian: Averted ''terribly''.
%%* YouAreInCommandNow: Red O'Neill. Doubles as an OhCrap.
* ZergRush: The final attack of the NVA.

!!The video games provide examples of:

* DolledUpInstallment: The RealTimeStrategy game was originally going to be just, well, a generic Vietnam War-themed strategy game. That is, until the publisher got the rights to the film, and the game's story was retooled to fit the film.
* GenreShift: Each level has different gameplay changes. [[spoiler:You even get to fight and kill Barnes in a grenade-throwing duel]].
* NonStandardGameOver:
** What happens if you kill way too many civilians.
** If you forget to get the explosives and put them on the bridge, a single enemy kills you with a flamethrower and performs a TotalPartyKill.
* OneManArmy: The player, who is presumably Chris. His "lives" represent other members of the platoon.
* TimedMission: The final mission, [[spoiler:where you must find and kill Barnes before the F-5 Freedom Fighter drops the napalm]].
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: In the game, the morale gauge decreases whenever you kill a civilian.