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Born on the Fourth of July


Roger Davidson

Born on the Fourth of July
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Of all of Oliver Stone's film work, this is without a doubt his masterpiece. It tells the true story of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), who was paralyzed from the waist down. The story follows Kovic's struggle with his physical and mental anguish, through those turbulent and painful years in America.

Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise reached their peaks with this touching story, that (like most Stone films) recreates the 1960's and 1970's Vietnam war era in America better than any film has done in the past. Cruise gives his most metamorphic performance to date, as he changes from a cocky naive teenager, to a gung-ho soldier, to an embittered vet and finally, to a famed anti-war protester. He does it so brilliantly that you can honestly feel his pain and endurance. Stone also gives us some of the most grim images of paraplegic rehabilitation ever portrayed on screen. The script, written by Stone and the real life Ron Kovic, is most excellent, as is the beautiful cinematography by regular Stone cameraman, Robert Richardson. This is one of the superior anti-war films in cinema history, reminding us unremittingly about the insanity behind the Vietnam War and all wars in general.

My Rating = Four Stars

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