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In September 1971, a platoon of recruits arrives in Ft. Polk, LA, for infantry training before leaving for war. The final week takes place in Tigerland, a swamp similar to Vietnam. Jim Paxton has enlisted; he wants to experience everything and write books later. He befriends Roland Bozz, a cool Texan with a gift for getting into trouble and for helping misfits get discharges. At least one sociopath in the platoon hates Bozz, even as the sergeants grudgingly recognize his leadership abilities. As the platoon heads into its week in Tigerland, Paxton's body gives out, Bozz makes plans to go AWOL, and the sociopath gets hold of live ammo. Is the Louisiana swamp more dangerous than the DMZ? Written by
Tigerland, great film showing irreverence and compassion
I really like this movie. Bozz is an ultra-cool, not to be intimidated soldier who does not want to go to war. His persona is similar in a way to Yossarian in Catch-22, Joseph Heller's classic novel about men and war. This film, however, is not set in a war zone, but in a pre-war combat prep training. This wonderful film is all about the sickening realization that the Vietnam war was a mistake and those men who were pegged to be sacrificed for a losing cause.
Colin Farrell is brilliant as Bozz, a soldier who showed as much genuine love and compassion for his fellow soldier as he did disdain and irreverence for the establishment that was trying to kill him. Bozz is totally cool and non-plussed, testing and tweaking his military superiors, getting their goat at every opportunity. He is a Jesus Christ figure with a psychology degree, "saving" his fellow soldiers and showing the ones in genuine need, the way out of this man's army.
The acting and action is crisp and believable and as a "Sleeper", Tigerland goes down with Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket as one of the top three Vietnam films in my opinion.
FIVE STARS, a top pick.
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