[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/platoon_1986_6592.jpg]]

->Somebody once wrote: "Hell is the impossibility of reason". [[WarIsHell 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 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.

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.

Another tie-in game was released in 2002, this time a real-time tactics game.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AllAsiansWearConicalStrawHats: Many of the Vietnamese civilians.
* AnyoneCanDie: And at any moment, just [[WarIsHell like in war]].
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Most notably Pvt. Bunny and Lt. Thomas Wolfe during the final battle. In general, most, if not all, of the soldiers (excluding Chris and Sgt. Elias Grodin) in the platoon might count. It's hard to root for or to feel sympathy for any of them after they attempted to massacre the Vietnamese villagers.]]
* 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!!!!!!!'''''
** Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes.
* 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. I shit on all of you.
* BigBad: Barnes is the closest as the movie gets to a villain.
* 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.
* BloodKnight: Barnes is a frightening example. ''Very'' frightening example.
* BoobyTrap[=/=]SchmuckBait: 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.]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: The Philippines for Vietnam.
* 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
* ChromosomeCasting: All of the characters are men (appropriate given the setting and period).
* ColonelKilgore: Barnes.
* 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.
* 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-4 Phantom 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.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Sergeant Barnes, before revealing himself as a [[BloodKnight killing]] [[PsychoForHire machine]].
* DwindlingParty: The titular platoon.
* EveryHelicopterIsAHuey
* EvilCounterpart[=/=]{{Foil}}: 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 and Elias) may not be one of the movies' saintly soldiers, but the NVA who were against them were as bad as them.
* 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!
* 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[=/=]ReasonableAuthorityFigure: 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.]]
* 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]].
* HeroicBSOD: Thrice with Taylor, to the point of becoming AxCrazy.
* ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure: [[spoiler:Cpt. Harris orders an F-4 Phantom 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}}: A majority of the soldiers (bar Chris and Elias, who look like absolute saints compared to the others, despite their [[ClusterFBomb constant swearing]]) that you might see in this movie were assholes from start to finish, especially Barnes, Bunny and Wolfe. And don't even start about the village scene where they interrogate the civilians.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Chris frags Barnes with three rounds in the upper-right torso, exactly how Barnes shot Elias]].
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:The FinalBattle ends with an F-4 Phantom dropping napalm on the whole base]].
* LicensedGame: Did you just read the description?
* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler:Elias]].
* ManlyTears: Chris weeps at the end of the film.
* MessianicArchetype: Elias.
* MoreDakka: The M60 machine guns used by King, Tex, Morehouse, and Huey helicopter door gunners.
* {{My Girl Back Home}}: 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, Gardner and Bunny.
* 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.''
* {{No One Gets Left Behind}}: Inverted.
* TheObiWan: Elias is faster, stronger and more experienced than his student Chris.
* 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.
* 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
* 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[=/=]ShoutingShooter: 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.]]
* SergeantRock: Elias and Barnes, in [[OpposingCombatPhilosophies their]] [[OpposedMentors own ways]].
* 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.
* 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:Go on boy! 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.
* TruthInTelevision[=/=]VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Ask any Vietnam veteran [[WarIsHell what the war was like]].
** The really big fight at the end is based on the New Years Day Battle of 1968 that Stone lived through.
* 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 BluRay[=/=]HD releases.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: One of the definitive films about it.
* 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 and those who side with Barnes.
-->'''Taylor''': I can't believe we're fighting each other, when we should be fighting them.
* WeaponsUnderstudies: Colt Model 653 carbines standing in for CAR-15[=/=]XM-177's.
* 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-4 Phantom drops the napalm]].
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: In the game, the morale gauge decreases whenever you kill a civilian.
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