Ever since 1970 when I finished my third tour of combat duty with the Marines in Viet Nam I have been waiting for a film that reflected the American Fighting Man in the Viet Nam war as an American Fighting Man; not a drugged-out, anti-war whiner. Well this is it. The movie is non-stop action after the first fifteen minutes of character development is finished. Having experienced what it is like to be over-run by the NVA during the third week of my first VN tour I can tell you that this movie does an excellent job of showing the excitement, tension, exhaustion, chaos, and courage of an extended battle. While this is by no means the best war movie I have ever seen, it is the first Viet Nam war movie which has provided me with a sense of satisfaction after leaving the theater. Mel Gibson turns in a good performance, Sam Elliot is a bit stiff. The wives of the soldiers are believable. Including a bit of the NVA's attitude about the war adds a balanced flavor to the film. Overall I would say that you will experience at least a small part the intensity of war if you go to this movie. I took my female companion and she was shocked, touched, and thrilled with it. As Americans, we need to remember that freedom is not, and never has been, free. It is always paid for with the blood of those who fight to get it, sustain it, or expand it. The politically correct may not like this film, but then who cares what they like. Thanks for making this film Mel. I've been waiting over 30 years to see it.