Casualties of War (1989) torrent download

Casualties of War

1989

Action / Crime / Drama / History / War

7.1

Synopsis

During the Vietnam war, a girl is taken from her village by five American soldiers. Four of the soldiers rape her, but the fifth refuses. The young girl is killed. The fifth soldier is determined that justice will be done. The film is more about the realities of war, rather than this single event.

Director

Brian De Palma

Cast

Michael J. Fox
as Private Eriksson
Sean Penn
as Sgt. Tony Meserve
Don Harvey
as Cpl. Thomas E. Clark
John C. Reilly
as Private Herbert Hatcher
John Leguizamo
as Private Antonio Diaz
Ving Rhames
as Lt. Reilly

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sddavis63 8 /10

A Brutal Depiction Of A Brutal Event In A Brutal War

It seems to me that the ultimate moral of this story might be that in war everyone is a casualty in some way, shape or form - even those who are never wounded and stay personally above the brutality. "Casualties Of War" is a depiction of an actual (and sickening) event that was first reported in the New Yorker magazine in 1969 in which a squad of American soldiers kidnap, rape and murder an innocent, young Vietnamese girl.

The two main protagonists in the movie are played by Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn. Penn is Meserve - the sargeant in command of the squad who develops the plan for the kidnap, rape and murder. He represents one type of casualty - a kid, promoted way beyond his years, in a situation he should never have been in, watching friends and comrades dying on a daily basis, becoming jaded and unfeeling as a result. You feel no sympathy for his character, but you recognize the tragedy of his character - and of the other members of the squad who let themselves be pulled into the plan. Fox, on the other hand, is Eriksson - the squad's conscience. He knows this is wrong, and he refuses to participate, even trying to help the girl escape, only to be derided and ridiculed by the others as either a coward or a homosexual. After the girl is killed, for no real reason, he reports the incident to his superiors, only to hear repeated variations on the theme "let it go. War is war." This is probably Michael J. Fox's most powerful movie role ever - a definite change of pace from the teen-oriented comedies that had made him famous. He's also a casualty, of course - haunted forever by the sickening scene he had witnessed. And of course, there's the real casualty - the young girl dragged out of her home and away from her mother who endures a nightmare before being killed.

This is most definitely a powerful, disturbing and brutal movie that definitely makes it point.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 /10

Soldier With A Conscience

Although Platoon may have gotten more acclaim, by far the best film on the Vietnam War is this one. Casualties Of War is going to leave Platoon way in the dust when history has its verdict.

Though Sean Penn's got several great films to his credit, by far this is the best work of Michael J. Fox on the big screen. His soldier with a conscious who can't live with himself after witnessing an act of barbarity that the other men of his squad commit should have brought him an Oscar nomination. In fact there could have and should have been a few of them for this film.

Fox plays a young soldier only a few weeks in Vietnam. On patrol Sergeant Sean Penn saves his life, but then on a second patrol because Penn and friends could not get leave to bleed the lizard as they say, they kidnap a young Vietnamese woman and take her on patrol. All the men on the patrol, Penn, Don Harvey, John C. Reilly, and John Leguizamo all gang rape the girl, but Fox refuses. Later on he's got a crisis of conscience.

Kids who grew up on World War II movies and westerns with clearly defined good and bad guys were ill prepared for a war in Vietnam. So was our government which had been involved in more or less degree since the end of World War II and the breakup of French Indochina. The subtleties of the regional politics eluded our policy makers in Washington. It was mighty hard to tell who was a friend and who was an enemy. You treated anyone with a yellowish pigmentation and slanted eyes as an enemy, the only friends you knew were the ones wearing the same green jungle fatigues as you were.

The war twisted Penn and Harvey. Leguizamo and Reilly were essentially followers, only Fox who hadn't been there long enough to have his sense of morality impaired could see this was all wrong. That's the frightening part of Casualties Of War. None of the four could see anything wrong, even Leguizamo who sees his first duty as to stick with the guys who have your back in the field.

As good as Fox and Penn and the rest of the Occidental cast is, the best performance in the film is Thuy Thu Lee. As the bewildered and frightened young girl she will positively break your heart with her one and only film performance.

Casualties Of War was shot in Thailand so we're seeing actual Southeast Asia locations. Brian DePalma's direction of his stellar cast is right on target. Don't ever miss Casualties Of War about the ultimate Vietnam experience.

Reviewed by mcfly-31 N/A

gripping tale of war

The odd thing about this film, is that it could've taken place with any background. War, college campus, neighborhood gang. The real plot is about the affects of rape and murder on the good guy and the bad guys. The Vietnam war just happens to be where it really took place, so we are entered into that gritty world of sudden violence, if not sudden death. Fox is a rookie soldier joining Penn's squad. Penn sort of casually mentions that they're gonna find themselves a girl to "keep up morale" while they are on their journey. This involves abducting a young farm girl from her villiage in the middle of the night, not affected in the least by the girl's hysterical mother. Each man (it's a group of 5) has his different reaction, Riley as the dumb "go along with anything" soldier does exactly that, Harvey, in a terrific wacko performance, loves the idea, with Leguizamo and Fox opposed. But Leguizamo, feeling the equivalent of teen peer pressure, does not back Fox when the two want to approach Penn about his antics. So Fox is left in an awkward position the rest of his stay in the field with his squad. There is of course, a confrontation, in a drawn out scene, where toughies Penn and Harvey accuse him of being gay and not doing to the enemy what they deserve. This is the core of the film's impact, as they quarrel, the girl is raped, and then Penn demands that Fox kill her! When she becomes ill, Penn fears her coughing may give away their posistion, so he berates Fox to stab her. He refuses, and in an ensuing arguement, the girl tries to get away, which ends up leading to a chaotic scene in which she reaches a slow, painful demise. The rest of the film deals with Fox trying to bring attention about what happened to his mostly deaf and incompotent superiors. That brief summary, though, barely scratches the surface of the emotionally charged scenes you will experience in the movie. There are many sad moments even before the girl is introduced. And then audience anguish when we think that maybe these men will get away with what they did. The key to the impact is, of course, the performances. Penn is his usual out of control self, who you may feel bad for, seeing how he's such a dedicated soldier and even decent guy before the kidnapping. An underrated and hardly known Don Harvey, I think somewhat outshines Penn with his always angry, scary corporal whose dark eyes and contant scowl give him a great intimidation factor. Riley makes you roll your eyes with his convincing moron, a guy who baffles as to why he'd get into the army, with his I.Q. seeming to be below 40. Leguizamo you try to forgive because of how he's afraid of being attacked verbally, or even physically, by his partners. You can understand his dilemma. Le, as the girl, as expected has little to say, but in her facial expressions, shows us the fright and terror that's enough to jar us. And as far as Fox is concerned, a PERFECT performance and choice for him to show us his dramatic side. He did so sometimes on "Family Ties" and in a couple of cinematic bombs (i.e. "Light of Day", "Bright Lights, Big City") but those works did not nearly approach the powerful scope that this film exhibits. And he puts his dramatic talent on full blast, displaying the mental exhaustion so well, from the disturbing events he went through. It was a very big key to his career when he decided to take this. Some might say how can you make entertainment out of rape, but the one scene of it is only 2 minutes long, with the real story here of how people handle themselves in crisis. The only mis-steps were the sometimes overly violin-ey score, getting a little too weepy here and there. And also the fact that even though Fox is the one good guy of the film, we never find out his first name! But there are too many hard hitting moments of realism to sink this, with the best highlight being the strong acting.

Read more IMDb reviews